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#929017 by Sealink
18 Nov 2016, 02:35
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Around 20 years ago (groan) a young Sealink flew on a British Airways Breakaway trip to Grenada.
Breakaway was BA's programme to allow travel agents to experience their holidays at a bargain price, in order to help us sell more BA. I was enchanted with Grenada and always wanted to go back.

Here I am, then:

Image





But time and other commitments always stopped me from getting back. Until now.

I decided that the island had been calling for too long, and with a reasonable UC fare available, the deed was done.
The chance to try the fabled Gatwick Clubhouse was also tempting me.

I will start by saying Grenada did not disappoint - as idyllic and sunny as I remembered.
The BBC Weather App forecast thunder and lightning and heavy rain every day I was there, but it was always brilliantly sunny, with the rain falling for only a short time. I have noticed that the BBC Weather app is often unduly pessimistic - the difference between their forecast and my daily experience was shocking. I'm not sure how they could get it so wrong and wonder how many people they put off from booking?

Enough of that though. This is about the flight. As usual with a Sealink trip report I will get tired of writing half way through and resort to posting photographs :)

I have given up on traipsing to airports early and as my flight was at 0900am, I booked the Sofitel for the night before (yes, I forgot that VS fly from South Terminal) - but if you know Gatwick and the Sofitel it wasn't a problem, the hotel being very close to the Shuttle to the South. I chose the Sofitel because I am chasing points with Accor, whose hotels I really like, and also because I detest the Hilton Gatwick with a vengeance.

The Sofitel was really nice and I had booked a suite at a bargain price. The suite was not amazing, but the bed was comfy and it has a free minibar with a small selection of soft drinks, water and beer/wine. As I was already an Accor Gold member, I also received a complimentary welcome drink. Something that the Sofitel Heathrow forgets regularly.

I headed to the South Terminal on Sunday evening to avail of Virgin's twilight check in and it was very efficient.
No queue, and my luggage was taken and a boarding pass issued with a shiny 'Gatwick Premium' sticker for fast track security.

Bright and breezy the next morning, I headed for security which was OK - not the fastest but friendly and that does make a difference. Remembering sage advice about a shortcut to the Clubhouse, I was delighted to see this well signposted and soon I was there.

The welcome from the two ladies on reception was truly lovely, with a little tour offered.
I was feeling quite dehydrated and so had an orange juice before booking an upgraded 30 minute facial. The 15 minute one is complimentary. I got in just in time as they were quite full quite quickly.

It was a nice facial, I felt very relaxed afterwards, and was given a few samples and a skin type report. I also bought a lovely facial spray by Dr Hauschka which is really refreshing.

I then had a nice breakfast, and a glass of Champagne before my flight was called.
I thanked the receptionists for a lovely time, and mentioned that the Gatwick clubhouse came highly recommended by Mr & Mrs Buns, who they were expecting.

And lo and behold as I was leaving the Clubhouse who should arrive! A brief but lovely catch up and I was off for my flight, the gate felt like it was miles away. Priority boarding was in force, I picked up a copy of The Week from the Emirates display and soon I was on my first flight on the A330-300.

---

I have to say, first impressions were good.

No light sticking into my shoulder like previously on the A340-600. No little shelf for your glass at an awkward angle and a very comfortable seat. In fact I found it to be the most comfortable seat I have had in the air and hope they don't change it too much with the revamp of the A330. I can understand the privacy concerns (on my flight home I could see bare feet. URGH) but I didn't feel like my privacy was being intruded at all. That could also be because the panels are now opaque.

So, with a glass of Champagne in hand, my feet up, I was ready to see what Vera had to offer. Actually, a bit disappointing. I've definitely been spoilt by Netflix and Amazon, I ended up watching a few Family Guys, Modern Family and the AbFab movie (I feel asleep during that, only to be woken by chatter from the bar.)

The menu we were provided prompted an apologetic explanation from the crew that the soup was different, rather than butternut squash it was tomato and basil. And tasty it was too, I followed this with a vegetarian curry, then a divine melting middle chocolate cake with a salted caramel sauce. That was good. I really liked the food on this flight, a vast improvement on the offering a few weeks previously from Boston.

Later on I had the burger, my timing was terrible as I ordered just as they were about to serve afternoon tea and I really wanted that too, but it was for the best that I didn't get both! Diet Sealink, Diet.

There were a few bumps and jumps during the flight which made me a bit anxious but was calmed by a very reassuring sounding captain who gave a few updates throughout.

The flight touched down in St. Lucia and that seemed endless and a little unprofessional. There seemed to be no end of commotion, we had to sit with our hand luggage in our laps for the crew to check, catering was being loaded which meant no drinks could be served (I was gasping for a soft drink and a Diet Coke was offered with apologies that they could not provide me with a glass as the catering was now locked.

Eventually we departed St. Lucia and throughout the short flight to Grenada the seat belt signs were on and the toilets were out of use.

Landing on Grenada was on time and it walking out into 32C heat with bright sunshine was something I haven't experienced in years. It was very welcome.

My prebooked taxi was waiting and before long I was swimming in the waters of Lance aux Epines beach, feeling very happy that I was finally 'home'.




OOPS - no pics, yet...
Last edited by Sealink on 27 Nov 2016, 16:35, edited 1 time in total.
#929027 by Daffodil
18 Nov 2016, 11:31
Thank you for your TR.
I read with interest, having done the same flight last February and had a similar experience.
The stop over in St Lucia is a bit of a pain.
I'm glad all went well with Sofitel, clubhouse and flight.
Have a lovely holiday and I look forward to the return TR.
#929043 by jfenney
18 Nov 2016, 14:35
Thanks for the TR Billy, I am on the same flight in 4 weeks so good to know the St Lucia routine, not looking forward to being kept in our seats for the short flight. No doubt to keep it clean for the flight back I daresay :-D
#929058 by buns
18 Nov 2016, 22:17
Sealink

Many thanks for the TR and an honest review of the A330 :-D

It was great to meet you for that brief moment in the Clubhouse andso good to hear that you enjoyed your stay in there.

Hope you had a super time in Grenada and 'spose I better get my fingers tapping to do my TR :blush:

Thanks once again

buns
#929075 by onelifeliveit
19 Nov 2016, 13:46
buns wrote:Sealink

Many thanks for the TR and an honest review of the A330 :-D

It was great to meet you for that brief moment in the Clubhouse andso good to hear that you enjoyed your stay in there.

Hope you had a super time in Grenada and 'spose I better get my fingers tapping to do my TR :blush:

Thanks once again

buns
As a UC passenger using twilight checkin, do your bags come out with the other UC passengers. Do UC passengers generally get their luggage before E and PE. Thanks
#929193 by tomthumb
21 Nov 2016, 19:55
Thank you for the TR - Grenada is a fantastic island and they say the harbour is the most picturesque in the Caribbean-
#929240 by marshy11
22 Nov 2016, 19:17
pjh wrote:Release the pictures!


THIS ^^ :cool:

And yes, Grenada is stunning.
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