Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Leejnd4

LeeAnne & Sandy's Sizzling Samba & Tango Cruise - Symphony Jan 24-Feb 3

Recommended Posts

Well, if all goes as planned...our adventure starts tomorrow! Of course there's always last-minute drama - the terrible winter storms have been wreaking havoc with flights around the country, and I'm changing planes in JFK so that's a concern. But I've been checking the AA website all day, and it still shows that the travel advisory only extended through today. I'm a little bit freaked out because I got a notification that I could now check in for my flight online, which I tried to do several times, but it won't let me! I get all the way through the process, and it comes back with "Unable to check you in online. See an agent at the airport." I have no idea why. So I'm going to the airport SUPER early, just to make sure I have time to deal with any issues. I shouldn't have any - I booked this flight six months ago, selected my seats and paid the money for the Main Cabin Extra seats...so I can't imagine what the problem might be.

 

I'm mostly packed - just have toiletries to add tomorrow after I shower. i *think* I'll be okay weight-wise - but just barely! I mentioned in our Bon-Voyage thread that I have to bring two suitcases as one contains my scuba dive and underwater photography gear, and that one is already at 50 lbs. So my personal suitcase is now showing 47 lbs! Let's hope my toiletries don't put it over the limit. AND let's hope the scales at LAX are generous!

 

It's a loooong travel day - my flight leaves LAX at noon, 5 1/2  hr. flight to JFK, then I change planes and it's about a ten-hour flight to Rio De Janeiro, so I don't arrive until 10:30 am on Tuesday. Sandy is flying from her home in Costa Rica and is arriving four hours earlier than I am, but it just so happens that a couple from our roll call, Jean & Henry, are also arriving at the same time and are staying at the same hotel, the Grand Hyatt. So Sandy is going to share a transfer with them to the hotel and try to get an early check-in. I'll Uber it there after I arrive.

 

We are hitting the ground running! (Or should I say "lying down"?) We have massages booked at their spa for 2pm on arrival day. I never sleep well on a plane, and I'm sure I'll feel all sore from spending so many hours crammed into a tiny seat. 😉 Then we'll probably nap for a while, then we have dinner reservations at Oro Restaurante, which is one of only three 2-star Michelin restaurants in all of South America, and the only one in Rio. Jean & Henry are joining us for dinner.

 

Then the next day we are doing a full-day private tour, sharing again with Jean & Henry. I'm not exactly sure what's on the itinerary...I'm going to do some reading on the plane to come up with my must-see list, but one thing we will NOT be visiting is the Christ the Redeemer statue. Our guide tells me that during high season, you really need to get there no later than 8:00 am to get tickets, or the lines get ridiculous and it will end up sucking up a large chunk of our day. And given where our hotel is, he'd have to pick us up at 6:30 am. All four of us agreed we do not want to start that early! So we're sticking with or 9:00 am pick-up time, and we'll just go see...other stuff. LOL! Honestly I'm not troubled by this. It's a statue. 😉

 

We board the ship the day after that, which will be Thursday. The ship overnights in Rio on Thursday, but we're just going to get on and stay on. Can't WAIT to taste that first sip of champagne onboard the beautiful Symphony!

 

Sooo...watch this space for updates! I'm bringing my laptop so I hope to be able to live-blog our cruise, and post some fun pics along the way, including underwater pics from my dives at Buzios and Ilhabela.

 

Oh, as for the name of the thread - that's what Crystal says is the theme for our cruise! I didn't make that up. HA! Maybe I'll even get to do a little dancing myself. Sandy and I are doing this as a girls cruise - we've traveled all over the world as two couples, but every now and then we decide to leave the hubbies home and do a girl's trip. So I guess I'll be relying on the Ambassador Hosts if I want to dance. :classic_biggrin:

 

Off we go!

 

LeeAnne

Edited by Leejnd4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bon voyage, girlfriend! (since it's a girls cruise, I thought that's the best way for me to be included; I hope you don't mind)

 

and bon voyage to Sandy as well. We'll all here with you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Leejnd4 said:

. I'm a little bit freaked out because I got a notification that I could now check in for my flight online, which I tried to do several times, but it won't let me! I get all the way through the process, and it comes back with "Unable to check you in online. See an agent at the airport." I have no idea why. So I'm going to the airport SUPER early, just to make sure I have time to deal with any issues. I shouldn't have any - I booked this flight six months ago, selected my seats and paid the money for the Main Cabin Extra seats...so I can't imagine what the problem might be.

 

 

If I had to guess, you have probably been "pre-selected" for an additional security screening, which is why it won't let you check in online. These things are allegedly "at random", but they have happened to us so many times we are thinking of changing our last name to "Random"!! 😁😁 I wouldn't worry about it. Safe travels, and have a great cruise!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last time I flew from regional UK to the USA via London I too was ‘randomly selected’ extra security checks. In fact that is three times out of five I have been unlucky! On that journey that ‘random check’ occured at NCL, LHR x 2, and again at MIA. Never again will I fly to Miami.... it is not worth the stress and hassle ... long story 😀

At initial check at NCL I was told the on line check in failure was a glitch!

 

When you do check in, look at your your boarding card and if there is an “ SSSS” shown on it then you are in luck .... NOT !!!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an "interesting" random check at LHR several years ago. Haven't had anything "special" anywhere since I got Global Entry, but that could be a coincidence.

 

Patty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Texas Tillie said:

I had an "interesting" random check at LHR several years ago. Haven't had anything "special" anywhere since I got Global Entry, but that could be a coincidence.

 

Patty

I had one as well. She asked to see my cell phone and she didn't believe me when I said I didn't have one in my belongings that she was going through. ( It was in my husband's computer bag) She had to ask someone how to use some scanner. She was obviously new. She wasn't very nice, either. It is bad enough to get "randomly" selected, but at least be polite and somewhat cordial about it. 

 

Nancy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Texas Tillie said:

I had an "interesting" random check at LHR several years ago. Haven't had anything "special" anywhere since I got Global Entry, but that could be a coincidence.

 

Patty

 

It's a coincidence. We have had Nexus/Global Entry for seven years and that last "random" check was 18 months ago. It's not a big deal, they looked through my backpack and swabbed my hands for explosives residue, but I wish I had as much "luck" in the lotteries as I seem to have with airport security!! 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so sorry you have to fly out of LAX (kidding!), but I'm looking forward to reading your report along the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, bon voyage for a wonderful and safe adventure. And thanks in advance for doing a blog. 

 

As to your flight tomorrow via JFK, I can suggest contacting AA and see if they could reroute you through either DFW or MIA. I’ve been successful in the past being proactive with reroutes due to weather issues. It certainly can’t hurt to at least inquire!

 

Good luck and safe travels to Rio.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I found out why I needed to check in at the airport...because my destination is Brazil and you need to show them your Brazilian visa. No big deal. I was able to check in at the curb, and I got through TSA in like five minutes. So now I have three hours of nothing to do. LOL! Worth it tho, just for the peace of mind. 

 

Even better...I was able to snag an upgrade to Premium Economy for the JFK-RIO flight! I’d checked into upgrading over the phone, but the price was exhorbitant. But you can often get upgrades at the airport on day of flight for much less. Since I was here so early, I got one. Woohoo! I always use Seatguru to check the plane config, and on this flight the Premium Econ seats are significantly better. Plus you get all the extra services, better food etc. so I think it was money well spent for a nearly ten hour flight. 

 

And in even better news...it appears the storms are not affecting either of my flights. On the American Airlines app, it actually shows you the status of the flights on your plane right before yours. Both flights already arrived so both of my flights should depart on time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're off to a great start. Hope that's an omen for good things to come.

 

My advice to check on AA rerouting you was born out of my thinking you were flying tomorrow (Tuesday). But now I realize it was yesterday when you posted you were leaving "tomorrow"! DUH!

 

Glad everything worked out well with the check-in, and the upgrade. 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bon Voyage!  Great you got an upgrade and the weather poses no problems for your flights!  Good start to your girls vacation!. Looking forward to your blog and seeing you smoke another cigar in the connesiour club!. ;))

 

PS. I was selected randomly at LHR last year for a second check just before boarding the plane!. Someone walked to our boarding gate and picked out passengers for another security check. Went through my carry on again at a holding area just under our gate!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LeeAnne, wishing you the most wonderful time on your holiday and cruise! I love your writing style and your sense of adventure so I know I'm going to enjoy reading your Live Blog - thanks for taking the time to do this and allowing us to travel along with you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LeeAnne, I’m also following your adventures.  Congratulations on getting the upgraded seat. It is definitely “worth it.”  Have a wonderful flight. 

 

By by the way, add me to the Club of those given extra scrutiny at LHR. I was swabbed, sniffed by two different dogs, and pattted down. I don’t think I look THAT suspicious!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LeeAnne, 

Wishing you and Sandy a wonderful cruise, and looking forward to following your trip.  I hope you get some "sizzling sambas and tangos" in.

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LeeAnne,

WOO HOO!  You're on your way!!

Have a wonderful trip and enjoy every second.  I look forward to your impressions of the ship.

 

Airline travel is just so crazy; one never knows what to expect.  We had a flight to Germany in September that left 2 days after scheduled. Then in November on a trip to Philadelphia I got "lucky" with the added security too. Then something in my carry-on raised added suspicion.  After a thorough inspection I asked what caused the concern? Turns out my dress shoes were made with nails.  I didn't know that but the security officer showed me the Xray.  Go figure. OK, glad they do scrutinize to that level.

But so happy your flights, and seats, worked out.

 

You will love Rio. One of the most beautiful ports in the world.  It is a very intriguing city in many ways.  

 

I hope you brought those gowns for formal nights? You noted months ago you were hoping to, but your luggage seemed quite tight.

 

Hope you and Sandy have a great time.

Look forward to your blog.

BON VOYAGE!

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, CalTom said:

Airline travel is just so crazy; one never knows what to expect.

 

 <snip>

 

I hope you brought those gowns for formal nights? You noted months ago you were hoping to, but your luggage seemed quite tight.

 

Yes it IS crazy! I say that as I I sit here at JFK, having boarded and then UNboarded our flight to Rio. Apparently there’s a maintenance issue. Fortunately they have another plane for us, which they are readying now. Same kind of plane. So far they are saying an 11:30 departure, which is 90 minutes delayed. We’ll see. 

 

Oh, and yes I brought my fancy dresses! One for BTO, another for Vintage Room. I went with cocktail length dresses. 

 

Oh! The crew is at the new gate, looks like they maybe boarding shortly...good sign!

 

Thanks to all of you for your bon voyages...I’ll do my best to keep y’all entertained. 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LeeAnne,  Hope you're in Rio by now!

And good to know you brought along those dresses.  Getting dressed 'to the nines' is part of a very enjoyable cruise.

Edited by CalTom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick update...made it to Rio but both Sandy and I had issues...my flight in NY was delayed 2 1/2 hours. And her plane change in Bogota was a cluster...plane stopped on tarmac and busses lax to terminal, but Sandy walks with a cane so needed a wheelchair, and it took them an HOUR to bring one! They left her alone for an hour in a dark airplane. Finally got her off and to the terminal just in time to make her connection. 

 

Anyway we’re here now, just had the loveliest massages, and getting ready to go out to dinner. Will post more later. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...