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I’ve got that Florida Feeling – Diary of our annual journey to Orlando! Part 2
Boarding is very straightforward on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Manchester. You will be boarded according to the row you are seated in so there is no need to rush or push. Everyone is given plenty of space and time to get settled into their seats. Try to get your children settled first and make sure they have anything they need from their carry on bags before you safely stow them away for take off. After take off you’ll be able to have your bags down at your feet should you want it.
We usually pack a rucksack full of goodies and activities for our kids but don’t worry if you don’t have time. Virgin provides a funky red rucksack for every child. It contains colouring and activity books, a comic, some pens, a small toy like playing cards and other goodies. You will all get a complimentary amenity kit which has everything in it that you will need to stay fresh and comfortable throughout the flight. Things like toothbrush and toothpaste, eye mask and earplugs, as well as socks so you can cosy up – why do our feet always get so cold on a plane! ?
Once everyone is seated and settled the crew walk up and down to ensure everything is safe and ready for take off. There will be a short film showing you flight safety features – nothing to worry about at all.
Once you are airborne the fun really begins. The flight takes around 8 hours which is a long time so it’s best to think about the flight time in smaller chunks, just as you would if you were filling a normal day at home. Times to eat, sleep, exercise and play.
Initially you will be offered a drink and a small snack. This is a nice relaxing time where you can settle with your drink and check out all that the on board entertainment has to offer. You will find a seat back magazine which has a schedule of films, TV, radio and games so you can plan your time. Films usually start about an hour into the flight so you have plenty of time to decide what you want to watch.
At the moment the TV and films are not ‘on demand’ so you will need to ensure you have your screen switched on and ready so you don’t miss the start of the film. The films are shown on a loop and they don’t start again until the longest one has finished.
Alternatively, you might want to take the children on a little walk around the plane. They enjoy walking up and down the rows of seats and seeing where the toilets are and where the crew prepare the meals and drinks. You can help yourself to free drinks throughout the flight so make sure you take in lots of fluids by drinking plenty of non alcoholic drinks.
By now it will be time for a hot meal, either lunch or dinner depending on your flight time. The meals on Virgin are fantastic and you will have a choice of two mains courses. They also cater for all kinds of special diets if you have particular needs – just book this service before you fly.
After your meal you may want to settle down and listen to some music or catch a TV comedy or documentary. You should take another stroll around too, or enjoy some of the in flight exercises that are recommended. You could take some time to fill out your immigration cards too. This will save you time once you arrive.
Before you know it, the crew will be coming around offering you all another drink and an ice-cream as you settle down for a great family movie or maybe play a family travel game.
Your flight ends with a light tea of a sandwich and cake with fruit. After this, it’s time to tidy up and pack up all your belongings ready for landing.
Where did all that time go! ? . . . .
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