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Anytime we are headed to Europe, we never use the term “vacation”, instead it’s an “adventure”. The time, effort, and mental & physical expenditure are factors more than heading to Florida, the Caribbean, or the West Coast. Plus, we usually encounter a “travel challenge” with Europe….
Sat., July 29, 2023
Sun, July 30, 2023
Arrive Copenhagen, Denmark
Mon, July 31, 2023
Day in Copenhagen
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Embark Ship in Copenhagen, Denmark
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
Thursday, August 3, 2023
Day at Sea
Friday, August 4, 2023
Nynashamn, Sweden (Access to Stockholm)
Saturday, August 5, 2023
Day at Sea
Sunday, August 6, 2023
Monday, August 7, 2023
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Disembark Ship & Day in Copenhagen
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
Depart for Indianapolis
So how did we get to this plan? Obviously Disney sets the cruise schedule 😉 . Whenever we take the time to fly to Europe, we try to extend the trip as long as possible to make the flight time and cost worthwhile and to deal with the jet lag.
Based on the current flight plan (?!), we hope to arrive mid-day on the 30th in order to spend a full day, likely in and around Tivoli Garden on the 31st. We will also have the majority of our return day (Aug. 8) as there were really no flights that fit our needs on that day.
For the two nights at the beginning and one night at the end, we will be at the Marriott Copenhagen. We are using Marriott Bonvoy points for the first two nights and a slight travel agent discount for the final night. Originally the final night was at a different, lower cost Marriott-brand hotel, but we decided since time was short (& this is supposedly a bucket list trip) to choose comfort over budget.
Ugh. This is always the most stressful aspect of Europe trips. Since Kara has the brand credit card and we have both (involuntarily) been accumulating United Airlines miles, we decided to stick with that brand. (Plus, see our 2019 trip for the disaster that was our experience on American Airlines.)
Having a roughly 50% success rate with Europe flights, we knew we would “level up” to try to avoid past challenges. We immediately knew for the long-haul flights we wanted “premium economy” and with a partner that allowed us to select our seats at booking. Well, that meant we had to be on United “hardware” for the transatlantic flight. Indy to Copenhagen clearly isn’t common, so we have the dreaded two layovers both ways: Indy > Chicago > London > Copenhagen going and Copenhagen > Brussels > Chicago > Indy coming home.
Very soon after booking, we looked for options to upgrade to Business/First for the Chicago > London leg. The chance of upgrading with points left too much uncertainty, so we bit the bullet and upgraded with cash. (I can’t bring myself to review the total cost at this point. Let’s just say the cost of each of our air is more than the combined total for the cruise!) Per a voluntary change in our flights, we now each have some travel credit and already have dreams of a winter 2024 escape!
At this moment we are slated to have a nearly five hour departure layover in Chicago (blissfully in the glorious Polaris Lounge). Hopefully this will avoid the missed connection debacle of our last Europe flight…?
Disclaimer: I (Gayle) am a travel agent with Authorized Disney Travel Planner agency - Off to Neverland Travel. Contact me today for a no-obligation quote!
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