We flew out of Orlando at 9:30 pm and connected in Amsterdam on our way to Marseille. We took advantage of an airfare promotion through Avalon and I have to admit I usually don't go for those kind of offers because it tends to limit your ability to choose your flights and I am always afraid of having too many connections. Avalon's air deal was really good because they let me look over all the possible flights for that offer and choose the one I wanted. I was very happy to find we could take advantage of the promotion and have just the one connection.
After our last flight to Europe where we were delayed getting out of Orlando and missed our connection in Newark and had to change our plans I was very happy that our first leg at least got us to Europe. Our flights went smoothly and we arrived in Marseille without any problems. We arrived the day prior to our cruise which is important on a trip like this in case of any flight delays and also to deal with the jetlag. I added our hotel and airport transfers to our cruise reservation so it was all one seamless package which it totally worth it. I know I maybe could have booked a less expensive hotel and set up our own transportation from the airport but having it all as part of the package means you really do not have to think at all after getting off your long overnight flight where you most likely didn't get much sleep. We simply got our luggage and rolled through immigration and there on the other side was an Avalon rep holding a sign ready to take our bags and lead us to the van. We were the only ones arriving at the time so it was our own private van.
In about 30 minutes we pulled up to our hotel and I have to say it was a WOW moment as the hotel was beyond what I was expecting. It was a large impressive old building from the 18th century and to me it looked like a palace. I was very happy I chose to go with the cruise package hotel since I probably never would have booked this hotel on my own. Even though we were tired we figured best to just push through and go see some of Marseille now since we do not have a lot of time tomorrow before we have to head to the ship. We found some great pizza and gelato and then headed up to the church on top of a hill that looked down over the city. It wasn't an easy walk but we made it to the top just in time for a beautiful sunset. It was the perfect start to our French Adventure!
Over the years the Mother Nature has made many changes to my travel plans. Sometimes it is just a little unexpected cold or rain but other times it has been a big storm that has totally changed my itinerary. You can do a little planning to avoid bad weather such as avoid the Caribbean during hurricane season but for the most part weather is just one of those things you have to be prepared for that could change to even the best laid plans. Here are 5 of my tips for how to deal with weather -
#1. Be prepared. You cannot always count on the weather to cooperate so when packing for your trip it is good to pack a few bad weather items like a umbrella, rain jacket, and gloves. They won't take up too much room in your suitcase so better to have them just in case.
#2. Brave the weather. Sometimes the weather might start out bad but it will clear up so don't waste time waiting for it to clear. Dress in layers and head out so that you can take things off as the weather gets better.
#3. Rearrange your plans. If the weather is so bad that your outdoor plans have to be cancelled look at your schedule and see if you can do in indoor activity on the day the weather is really bad and move your outdoor plans to another day. If you don't have any indoor plans already some good ideas could be catch a movie, go shopping, find a spa, go bowling. If you are in an area where you are not sure what is around you can either google things to do near me or ask your hotel front desk for suggestions.
#4. Safety first. Sometimes the weather could be so bad that you really just need to stay put to be safe. It might be that you are stuck in the hotel or this could apply to your flight or cruise but please remember that any changes to your transportation modes are to keep you safe. If this happens break out the board games or a good book and just ride it out.
#5. Look on the bright side. If the weather totally changes your plans and you have to miss out on something you really had your heart set on then you have a great reason to plan another trip to that location. You could also end going somewhere or doing something you hadn't planned for because of the weather and it could turn out to be the best vacation ever.
Though more women are opting to keep their maiden name after marriage the knot reports that roughly 80% still take their new husband's last name. I can say from experience that the name change process can be exhausting and seem never ending. I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary and I admit I am still working on changing my last name on things. I do have a few tips for newlyweds to help with traveling after you say I do.
#1 - Do not book your honeymoon with your new last name. It can take much longer than you think to get important things like your passport changed so for the honeymoon please make reservations with the name as it appears on your current ID. Your travel agent can note that you are celebrating your honeymoon so you won't miss out on any of the special Mr and Mrs moments. Most destinations expect that honeymooners will not have the same last name on reservations yet.
#2 - Start with the big ones first. You cannot change your passport until you change your social security card. Once you have those 2 life gets easier.
#3 - Airline Frequent Flier and Hotel rewards programs are more work than you would think. I thought these would be an easy log into my account and update my profile, but no they are almost as hard as changing your passport. I have read that some women choose to just lose anything they accumulated to just start over with a new account since it was easier than doing all the things required just to change your last name. Take a look at what you have saved up and decide which makes more sense for you. I am the type of person that signs up for any and all rewards programs so I think there will be some where I really haven't earned much so I will just let it go.
#4 - Make lots of copies of your marriage certificate as you are going to need it more than you think.
#5 - Don't try to change everything at once. Depending on how many things you have set up in your previous last name you could get overwhelmed with all the places that require changing. Some things can wait and be changed on an as needed basis so don't stress about it too much.
#6 - Make plans to break in that shiny new passport!
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