Icelandic Air and the Night of the Long Flight

Hello from London, onboard the ms Prinsendam, docked at Tilbury on the River Thames.

Wednesday evening I was doing some last minute paperwork, and was packing my documents up in preparation for our Thursday morning 8 Am departure, I made one final check to the Icelandic Air web site and realized that I would be able to print out the boarding passes for out flights to London. Super, one less thing to worry about when we got to the airport in Seattle.  I was feeling pretty proud of myself until I noticed a  small printed statement under “carryon” luggage – “weight allowance 6 kg” !  Humm, being “metric” challenged, I decided to ask Wolfram Alpha what that translates to in American Speak – 13.3 lbs – not good, cause I knew that the bag I planned to carry onboard our flight would not pass muster.  Aw, but I figured what the heck, I have done it before, I am sure they will overlook my overweight.  But just in case they did not, I came up with plan “B” – I added one of our nice HAL handbags that we were given on our 2007 trip to the carry on, figuring that I could take essential items out and use that for my carryon, and if push came to shove, check the overweight carryon.  Well, “push came to shove” at the check-in counter when I was informed that the bag weighed over 23 lbs.  Have you ever laughed at the person ahead of you at check-in having to repack bags?  Chickens still come home to roost!

After walking the three miles to get through security check-in and Barbara having to set in “the booth” to be “wanded” because to her hairpins, we made it to the South Satellite departure terminal, just in time to be the first ones on our flight in the lounge!  Soon it became just like “old home week” as we greeted Lee and Gwen and then met for the first time friends of Mike and Jeannie Price;  Larry and Anita Lee, friends with whom they had cruised before.  One thing about traveling “With Alan” you won’t  be a stranger for long.  It was great to finally put a face to a name of a young lady that I had been working with for weeks, organizing the series of Cruise Critic meetings, we were to host during our cruise. Her Cruise Critic screen name is “Ironlegs” or Jean.

Our flight to our first waypoint and plane transfer in Reykjavik, Iceland took just over seven hours and was quite uneventful.  Since it was a Polar flight all the window shades had to be pulled down to simulate darkness in the cabin.   Flights on today’s modern aircraft offer so many options to  pass the time, their onboard entertainment systems are just awesome, and with my Bose noise cancelling headset I was able to escape into my own little world.

Icelandic Air offers no “free” in-flight meal service unless one flies Saga Class.  We did purchase two sandwiches for 5 Euros apiece – close to $15! Sodas and coffee were complimentary.  Our itinerary  showed a one hour stop in Reykjavik for a plane change and customs and immigration check, which consisted of presenting our passports for an entry stamp, disrobing for security, presenting our passports for an exit stamp and embarking on the final flight.  The whole process took less than an hour and one hardly had time for a potty break.  Welcome to Iceland!!   Not to worry, we have three port visits there next week.

By the time we arrived at Heathrow, we were all brain dead, so we just flowed with the stream with other brain dead folks through this maze of rooms and corridors to get through customs and immigration and “out the door”.  As advertized, reliable Alan was there waiting to “gather his chicks” for our one and a half hour bus ride to “London International Cruise Terminal” at Tilbury Docks.  We had a wonderful British  guide who talked non-stop during the trip, but I dare say most of us could not put together one comprehensive sentence of what she had to say.  This is most unfortunate, because she was fascinating to listen to, it was that none of us could remember when we slept last, so we just “dozed and drooled”.

Welcome home, was what we felt whispered by our wonderful Prinsendam as we made the final trek to our stateroom.  It was now 3:30 PM and after a quick plate of Lasagna in the Lido we hurried to our first Cruise Critic gathering in the Stuyvesant Room.  This, we had scheduled to put together 30 packets of information to be delivered to our group members staterooms. Even though we were dead tired, it was a wonderful meeting of friends we had had come to know in the past weeks on It was also heartwarming to see the work the Beverage Manager – Roger and his staff had gone through to make us feel welcome.

By six that evening we were enjoying one of the  amenities we love about cruising; dining in the La Fontane dining room.  White table cloths and napkins, silver and china table service all memorably attended by outstanding staff – the smile on Barbara’s tired face was a mile wide.

By 8 PM I was in my comfy bed sound asleep.

Tomorrow at 9:30 we gather in the Ocean bar to begin our whirlwind tour of “Old London Towne” (see our itinerary page)  Sorry – no pictures yet.

Next:  London Towne and our Sail-away on the River Thames.

One thought on “Icelandic Air and the Night of the Long Flight

  1. Jack,
    Is Mike and Jeannie Price on the cruise with you? Are they from Port Angeles? If so, did you know they used to come to our church?
    I know you both will have a great trip.
    Bob said there was only Kent, Bob, Clyde and himself at breakfast this morning.

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