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#937886 by CommanderB
29 Aug 2017, 20:46
Ground Staff
Food & Drink
Cabin Crew
I don't usually do TR's as they'd be boring, as all of my travel is predominantly for work. But given this was my first proper holiday in about 8 years, I figured giving something back for once! :D

I booked a package with Virgin Holidays, flying UC on an I fare. Booking was fairly simple after explaining to the lovely VH rep that I specifically didn't want Z class, it required a bit of extra work on their end but was not problematic at all.

Tristar bookings were made as soon as the reservation showed on my FC account. It was all easy enough.

Tristar arrived nice and early at 5.50am on the day of travel. A lovely E Class estate, and I particularly liked the LED lighting on the inside... quite Virgin-esque!

I had a lovely view of Virgin Girl (V-GAL) arriving on final approach from MCO as we were coming down the M23.

Check in was fairly swift and quiet. Nothing to report there. Didn't use premium Gatwick as that queue was longer than the normal one. Tried to get 1A at check-in but someone already had it (as I knew already) only to annoy me further by the fact the dude kept flitting between 1A and 1K onboard for no apparent reason. >-(

Upon arrival to the entrance to the Clubhouse, the lovely ladies at the door welcomed me with open arms and commented that it was nice to see me. They also offered a quick tour as they knew I was a Heathrow regular, but had not been to the Gatwick Clubhouse before - so I happily obliged.

Once in the clubhouse, had a spot of breakfast which consisted of the breakfast burger, a redhead (got to stick with the V-Flyer traditions!) and an orange juice. Finished up some work things on my laptop before switching off and enjoying the views across the tarmac. The new CH is really quite nice and airy, all the light coming in really makes the place a delight. As much as I love Heathrow... its often quite dark in comparison. Had a nice chat with a couple of the CC who were grounded due to pregnancy, lovely ladies - as expected!

I left the CH at 9am on the dot, expecting boarding to be a scrum. I got to the gate and found it empty, with the exception of 2 gate agents, an unaccompanied minor with someone from VS ground staff and a couple of elderly folks waiting for wheelchair assistance - last on I though, great! I followed the ground staff & unaccompanioed minor down the jet bridge to find my lovely chariot... Lady Love, a refurbed A330. God forbid if I'd have gotten one of the old configs. I was pleasantly surprised to find no other passengers onboard... we were the first!

Had a quick chat with the boys up front about the approach out, then settled into 4A whilst the rest of the passengers boarded.

Only 9 + 2 infants in UC after it was all said & done... so very quiet indeed. 234 onboard, 3 pilots and 10 crew. J*****, FSM was amazing. You can always tell if a crew is going to be good from the first 30 seconds onboard and this was no exception. With so few in UC and not seeing anybody until arriving at the other end, it really was a tranquil flight.

We pushed back 1 minute late, but no big deal - a lot of the Caribbean flights are usually a little tardy... I like to think that the crew get into the Caribbean lifestyle ahead of departure ;-)

Menus came around, and I wasn't thrilled by the beef, chicken or fish as I'd had all of them before on previous flights, so I opted to be cheeky and ask for the Burger & pulled pork from the extra bites menu along with a soup starter and the chocolate dessert. Usually for such a request, everyone else would have to be catered for first, but due to the light load - the crew had no problem making this happen with the main meal service.

I had a couple more cocktails & nibbles before settling in with a good book for the duration of the flight. Sleepsuits were offered to those who wanted them, and a few (4 I think) did nap the flight away.

Desent into ANU was smooth... due to consulting the map before departure I spotted my accomodations (Blue Waters) easily enough on the approach which brought us along the north side of the island before making a 180 degree turn onto a 07 approach in ANU.

Baggage & customs was quick enough, no other flights had arrived at a similar time, with the BA 777 being about 30/45 mins behind us I think.

VS Chauffer was a luxury 4x4 with a local lady driving. Not quite as stylish as Tri Star, but perfectly acceptable nonetheless.

With the travel all said & done.... it was 5 nights at Blue Waters sipping cocktails and doing not a whole lot else! I can wholeheartedly recommend this place. I was upsold on it by VH, but it was totally worth it. And on the plus side, you get a lovely view of the long hauls coming in over the north coast.

Commander B, out.
Last edited by honey lamb on 31 Aug 2017, 14:36, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Edited to remove staff names as per forum rules
#937889 by buns
30 Aug 2017, 04:58
Commander B

Thank you for the TR - greatly appreciated!!

Glad to hear the Gatwick Clubhouse once again did the honours - as a regualr V Flyer reader you will know how I ahve always sung thier praises :-D

Only 9 UC pax :-O Shame abou the old config, but at least it was not rammed.

Enjoy the cocktails ;-)

#937895 by Daffodil
30 Aug 2017, 09:08
Thank you for the lovely detailed TR.
Enjoy the rest of your holiday with hopefully plenty more cocktails to come.
Antigua is one of my favourite islands and we have visited it six times.
Last time we flew home from there, Upper Class was full with Boris Becker and his entourage on board, they had been playing a tennis tournament on Necker Island.
#937899 by CommanderB
30 Aug 2017, 12:59
buns wrote:Commander B

Only 9 UC pax :-O Shame abou the old config, but at least it was not rammed.

Thanks Buns. I think you misread though... it was a new config.... so win win all round! :cool:
#938013 by tomthumb
03 Sep 2017, 20:18
Many thanks for the Trip Report- you can't beat Blue Waters - going back in December
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