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Old 30 May 19, 10:58 AM  
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Leyfy
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The One That was Supposed To Be Europe - July/August 2019

As we leave in 55 days, 24 minutes and 02 seconds, I thought it was about time to get on with a pre-trip report!

We are, as always, Kim & Phil.



We've been to Florida a lot the past few years - you can find all my previous trip reports here:

https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...4#post13080094

There are many highlights, including the one where we were supposed to get married and then didn't (it's okay, we go married later!) and the one where Phil decided he didn't want to go on a Disney cruise and would rather spend five nights in Celebration hospital with cellulitis from a spider bite ...

Last year we did an epic almost three weeks in Florida, including our first ever cruise, but with the exchange rate being what it is and parts of Walt Disney World quite frankly being like a building site, we'd kind of made plans not to return this year. Instead we started saving for a three week trip in 2020 and decided this year will be a shorter holiday. Initially we started talking about Europe and were firmly in the 'we're not going to Florida as it's too expensive' camp. So we started discussing ideas about maybe going to see some of the WW1 sights and driving across to Arnhem Bridge, maybe taking in Efteling theme park and Disneyland Paris on the way back. However, Phil doesn't drive and adding up all the various elements it was still coming up quite expensive.

Anyway, back in September I was idly browsing flights 'just for research' ( ) on SkyScanner andI came across what I can only describe as a BARGAIN!

10 nights.
Direct into Miami with Virgin Atlantic.
Economy classic so seats and luggage included.
Leaving the first day of the school holidays

£525 EACH!

I'll repeat that £525 for direct flights to Miami in July during the school holidays with luggage and seat selection with Virgin!



We debated it for maybe three or for seconds before booking the flights!

So we had provisional dates - 24th of July to 2nd of August.

The next step was to decide what we were going to do. As it was only ten nights we decided not to go to Orlando. We quite enjoyed the cruise last time and there was another one with Carnival departing from the port of Miami the morning after we landed. So that slotted into place. It's only got two stops (Key West & Cozumel) and is four days, but has nicely slotted into the first half of the holiday. As we love Key West, that will be our destination for the second half of the holiday. I took the photo below last year when we were docked in Nassau in the Bahamas and we were sailing on the ship behind Phil (Carnival Conquest). Realised the ship we are sailing on in 56 days THIS year is docked to the right! (Carnival Sensation) Weird coincidence!



We usually stay at Eden House but I had such a bad time with the air conditioning last year (on our final night there it was so warm that I got two hours sleep! ) so we've booked Margaritaville resort instead, which is really close to Duval Street and right by the marina. We LOVE Key West, I can't wait for some more frozen Key Lime pie from Kermit's:



As it's our wedding anniversary (2nd one) when we are there I've booked us a meal at Prime Steakhouse, which looks lovely! We are also planning on eating at Carolines again:







We love the food there and it is really good value as well.

Last year we popped into a bar that brews their own beer, which of course Phil (who is known for pointing at a pint!) was absolutely in his element!





We are planning on eating there this year as well. Not sure yet where we will eat on the other night we have free. Possibly in the hotel restaurant, which looks nice but quite pricey.

So with 54ish days to go there isn't much left to do! Still need to book two days car hire to get us to Key West and back and I might book another water tour out to the reef with Fury.

So that's it for now! Just got the second half of the summer term to get through and then it's Hello Florida!

Thanks for reading!

Update 2/6/2019

Thought I'd post my updates on the end of the original post so they are a bit easier to find or read through.

Couple of things I forgot to mention. I finish work at midday on the 23rd of July. The plan is for me to come home and pick up Phil and the suitcases and then head down to Heathrow. As our flight is 10.45am the next day I have booked the Premier Inn on Bath Road with drivefly meet and greet through Holiday Extras. On the day we fly I drive us round to Terminal 3 and to the short stay car park and they take the car off us. We've not done this before, but I thought it looked better than off-site parking and having to get the Heathrow Hoppa, which we usually do.

The other thing I neglected to mention is that I managed to book the wrong dates for Margaritaville

I actually booked the week AFTER we wanted! A couple of phone calls to Expedia (thank goodness I didn't book the non-refundable price!) and hopefully that's all sorted. Just so glad we didn't rock up there and then had nowhere to stay! The week before is a bit more expensive, but we just pay that rate to the hotel when we get there apparently. I have emailed Margaritaville and asked for confirmation of this from their end as well.
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Edited at 08:51 AM.
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Old 30 May 19, 11:05 AM  
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Sandra & co
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This look like it’s going to be an amazing trip, not long to go now xx
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Old 30 May 19, 08:56 PM  
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Fab plans! Not long to go x
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Old 30 May 19, 09:02 PM  
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Great 👍 love your trip reports. X
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Old 30 May 19, 10:33 PM  
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Brilliant, love reading your trip reports. What a fab flight bargain, it would have been rude not to book those!
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Old 1 Jun 19, 08:23 AM  
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Leyfy
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Originally Posted by Sandra & co View Post
This look like it’s going to be an amazing trip, not long to go now xx
Thank you - yes, June already! That means we go next month! Eeek!

Originally Posted by sheluk View Post
Fab plans! Not long to go x
53 days now, need some sunshine, warmth and Florida food!

Originally Posted by Floridafour View Post
Great 👍 love your trip reports. X
Thank you

Originally Posted by Stardust5 View Post
Brilliant, love reading your trip reports. What a fab flight bargain, it would have been rude not to book those!
Totally! If the flights had been much more we probably wouldn't have bothered, but that really was a bargain!
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Old 1 Jun 19, 09:04 AM  
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Kim. Awesome flight prices, good find. Well done.
The itinerary sounds really good and I know from a friend of ours out there that the Carnival cruises are really good.

By the way I love the food pictures. What's the beer on the left in the first picture please? looks like lemonade.
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Old 1 Jun 19, 09:39 AM  
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Yay another trip! Great flight price!

We're off to Key West for the first time in July. Excited to visit the Keys
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Old 1 Jun 19, 12:10 PM  
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Leyfy
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Originally Posted by WileyCoyote View Post
Sounds fabulous and frankly rude not to go at that price !
Looking forward to following along
I know, I still can't believe how much of a bargain they were!

Originally Posted by Mr Tom Morrow View Post
Kim. Awesome flight prices, good find. Well done.
The itinerary sounds really good and I know from a friend of ours out there that the Carnival cruises are really good.

By the way I love the food pictures. What's the beer on the left in the first picture please? looks like lemonade.
We enjoyed the cruise last year with Carnival as well. I know a lot of people have a bit of a downer on them compared to other lines (or say they are the 'party cruise line'!), but we had a lot of fun and found it was well worth the money.

Phil has consulted the beer notepad (!) and the beer was called 'Nightrider', which is a wheat beer. We kind of stumbled on that place by a bit of an accident last year and so we had a flight each so we could sample the different beers on offer. From what I remember my flight was better!

Originally Posted by christybell View Post
Yay another trip! Great flight price!

We're off to Key West for the first time in July. Excited to visit the Keys
We love, love LOVE Key West! I'm not even sad that the cruise stops there as well!

We are going to try and find the beach that morning at Fort Zachary Taylor as we are only in Key West until 1pm on the cruise, and it's something we've not done before.

Definitely go to Carolines if you can - the food is absolutely amazing and such good value compared to other places. Definitely try and find Kermits as well. Hope you have a fantastic time!
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