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Day One of My Great Adventure 2: Getting there is hardly any fun at all

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British Airways Flight 174 JFK to LHR
The Cunard Line, whose ships have crossed the Atlantic since 1840, ran an Advertising campaign using the headline “Getting there is half the fun.” This was just as the first jets streaked across the Atlantic in hours instead of the 5 days Cunard’s fastest Queens took to lumber across the ocean.  Very soon, a transatlantic ocean voyage was an oddity, relegated, even by Cunard, to a few times a year when ships were being repositioned from European summers to Caribbean winters.  Speed won out. Jets made a one-week European jaunt or a three day business trip a reality never possible by ship.  Today, with few exceptions, even ship aficionados are now forced to fly to their cruise’s starting point. And quite honestly, getting there is no fun at all. Take that back.  Business class and First class are perfectly lovely– even if they cost every bit as much as 6 days on Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary.  But Coach is a series of indignities starting at security and ending at baggage claim at your destination.


Seating Photo Courtesy of The Points Guy

Last Spring as I flew through Paris to Budapest, I had a hard time believing what depths Coach had sunk to.  Aboard an Airbus 380, that most massive of planes Coach is like going to a terrible movie theater with the worst seats in the world.  Both ways were endurance contest.  So with great  trepidation, I plunked down an extra $495 to fly British Airways “Premium Economy” both going to and coming from Viking Star, the Viking Ocean cruise ship, I am flying to Barcelona to meet. 


PR Photo of Premium Economy Filet

I am happy to report, it’s everything it should be for $495. Roundtrip.  There is 8 more inches of legroom, just a two-four-two seating plan and unlike certain flights on other airlines, the seats recline without your wanting to strangle the person in front of you. I would say that BAs Premium Economy is just a notch below  Domestic First Class, if that. And how was the food?  In June, I forked out 25 Euros for an Air France meal so pedestrian that I wrote them a received a refund.  Tonight’s meal, as advertised, was identical to a selection from BA’s Business Class service. It was one I’ve had flying to LA for years:  A filet mignon, cooked to within an inch of its life, but served with ‘real’ china and ‘real’ silverware’ and copious amounts of wine. It certainly wouldn’t garner any Michelin stars but, at least,  I wouldn’t demand a refund.

2 thoughts on “Day One of My Great Adventure 2: Getting there is hardly any fun at all”

    • Thank you so much Sharon for taking the time to write. I hope you enjoy every minute of your Viking Cruise. Please remember that when I did this itinerary, many Covid mandates were in place. Your trip should be even better now that they’re lifted! But please don’t travel without a recent vaccination. Bon Voyage, Monte

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