Wow – what an awesome 16 night cruise we had on the Island Princess! So much has happened since the last post and with the amazing sites we saw on the cruise it will take me at least a week to catch-up on everything!
It’s 7:30pm on Wednesday night, June 29th as I write this from the Roof Top Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn (HGI), located adjacent to Terminal 2 and 3 at Heathrow Airport. Wow – what a view for plane buffs like Steve (DOS) and me!
We debarked the Island Princess this morning in Southampton, at 9am after having breakfast in the Bordeaux Dining room, as Sabatini’s Restaurant was not open on debarkation day.
Here are a couple photos from this morning of a couple of our new shipboard friends Lorraine and Al, as well as some of our favorite servers from breakfast and last night’s dinner. Our dining staff in Club Class were awesome, and we really enjoyed their service, laughs, and smiles which you could “see thru” the COVID masks which they still have to wear unfortunately.
Without a doubt, this was a cruise for the memory (and photo books!) that we will always remember. I did not post much on the blog during the cruise for several reasons, mainly as it takes a lot of internet bandwidth to download/upload photos, the amount of time it takes to post, my iPhone was involved in an accident mid-cruise (AAARGGHH, but more on that at another time😀), but mostly because Steve (DOS) were having such as good time and wanted to enjoy every moment. My blog is for fun; not commercial purposes so I don’t want to feel like a pro-blogger that has to post every update! LOL! Here’s just a couple quick picks of some of my favorite pics so far, even though I have several hundred more to review!
I’m hoping when I take my iPhone into Apple for the phone exchange (it’s insured) they can capture many of the early photos from the cruise that hadn’t been backed up yet due to the slow shipboard internet. For the remainder of the cruise I used DOS’s iPhone to take photos.
After having breakfast on the ship, we debarked in Southampton, and took the pre-arranged private shuttle DOS had booked for us from Southampton to our hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow. The ride was fairly quick, and in an hour an a half we were checking in the hotel around 11am.
As it was several hours prior to the actual checkin time of 4pm, I was glad to have a room ready on our arrival, even though I would have preferred a room on one of the upper floors of this 14 floor hotel with a runway view, rather than the 3rd floor garage-facing room that was assigned to us. Not a problem though as it was only for one night, and we could tell it was very soundproof literally being on the grounds of Heathrow Airport.
Well actually, our one night stay has already become a two night stay as we got a text from American Airlines that our 9:15am flight home to the US tomorrow (via Philadelphia and Orlando) would not operate until 1:30pm, and there were no connections back to Florida tomorrow, so even if we flew on the later flight to Philadelphia, we would have to overnight there. DOS quickly checked the flight schedules, and we decided to fly home the following day (Friday, at 12:15 noon) via Charlotte, which is actually a much more preferable time. We added another night to our hotel, so now we have a whole extra day in London we can explore tomorrow if we wish!
I’ll end this post for now with a couple photos from the Roof Top Bar here at the HGI Heathrow, where DOS and I are enjoying a nice class of Bordeaux wine while watching the continuous parade of jumbo jets taking off and landing; really a cool place to have a drink if you have a layover here in London Heathrow!
You can even spot a British Airways Concorde parked on display in the far distance, one of the seven legacy supersonic planes British Airways flew way back when in the “Golden age” of travel, that unfortunately ended for the Concierge some 19 years ago in 2023.
Unfortunately you can’t tour the Concorde here at Heathrow, but the other six British Airways Concordes ares located at different aero-space museums around the world per this London Air Travel article I looked up on it.
Anyway, now the fun work begins, although delayed another fun day due our flight now heading home on Friday instead of tomorrow. I’ll work on the photos and blog over the next week and update. To all the fellow passengers we met and had lots of fun and laughs with; thanks for being a part of our memories, and hope we can sail somewhere together in the future. For the wonderful crew we met, it was an honor to have you serve us, and especially the Club Class Dining staff, Sabatini’s Breakfast Staff, as well as Crooner’s Lounge – thank you all, and may God bless you and your families back home.
That’s all for now. Take care, and “until we meet again”, stay happy and well. And keep laughing; the best medicine!