Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 0, Friday, March 9, 2012, Travel Day

We flew on Delta as usual.  The SLC to ATL flight was full and we were 19 and 20 out of 51 people on the upgrade list.  There were no seats available for any of the 51, so we were all out of luck.  We arrived safely in ATL and then went to the Sky Club and waited for our next flight to Quito, Ecuador.   On that flight they had 5 first class seats and we were numbers 3 and 4, so we were lucky to be upgraded.  Interestingly, you fly (in a 737) almost due south to get there, right over the Panama Canal.  It is only about a 4 hour flight from ATL.  Being in first class, we got off the plane very quickly, made it through immigration in one of the early groups and went to pick up our bags.  They were there when we got out of immigration.  Interestingly, it was all of the sky priority bags waiting there.  We picked up our bags, went through customs after they x-rayed everything and walked out into the terminal.  There was a guy with a  JW Marriott sign and he took us (and only us) directly to the hotel.  Apparently we were the only ones on the flight on the Celebrity cruise.  We went to the Celebrity hospitality desk, got our room key and went to our room.  In the room was the schedule for the next day.

Note, there has been a bit of conflicting info on the boards about access to the Marriott executive level (which gives you free internet and other amenities, such as cocktails and stuff).  Here is the deal:
  • ·      If you are a captain’s club member (we think you must be elite) and you are staying on board the ship in a suite (ship's cabin 503 or above is the cut off we think), then you get access.
  • ·      If you are a gold or higher member of the Marriott rewards levels, then you get access.  If you are silver it isn’t good enough.
  • ·      You can also upgrade your room for $50.  That gives you access as well.  If you are a silver Marriott and you wish to upgrade, you can at a discount of 10%.

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