The date is set for September 24th. I cannot even begin to express how excited I am! This trip is going to be full of firsts: first time to Stockholm, first flight on the beautiful Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and first flight with Norwegian Air Shuttle. I booked everything through Expedia, which is where I found the best deal for the flight and hotel package.
FLIGHT: Seattle has a decent-sized airport that handles many international flights daily. However, I found a better deal by booking my trip out of LAX, and purchasing a cheap round trip ticket between SEA and LAX. A word of caution if you do this: the airlines will probably not accommodate your connection plans if anything happens to your connecting flight. So, if my flight from SEA to LAX is late or cancelled, and I cannot make my flight to Stockholm, I may be screwed. I’m opting for an early flight out of Seattle, and a really late flight for the return, so that I have plenty of wiggle room Booking this way, though, helped me shave about $1,000 USD off my trip package which will certainly come in handy later on down the road.
When traveling internationally, I usually like to spend a bit extra on my flight and purchase business class seats. Usually, business class gives passengers the ability to sleep with lie-flat seats and excellent service. Norwegian does not offer such a class, but does have a Premium Cabin, which teeters somewhere between Business and Premium Economy. I have seen some excellent reviews online, however, so it should be a lovely experience.
Judging by the pics and videos I’ve seen online, there’s quite a bit of space and the seats appear to have a decent recline to them. I think I’m most excited about flying on the 787, which I have been dying to fly on since they were introduced into service.
I should mention that Norwegian is a low-cost airline. If booking in economy, expect to pay for each piece of luggage, as well as in-flight snacks and beverages. From what I hear, you get the bare-b0nes for your ticket, but the service is still outstanding. I’ll follow up after my trip.
HOTEL: While shaving some money off my trip, I was also able to pick an upgraded room with my hotel. This was all done through Expedia, of course. The hotel I will be staying at is called the Elite Hotel Marina Tower. I decided to upgrade to a Junior Suite, which is said to offer a sea view. The hotel appears to be a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of the major tourist areas, but has its own ferry station right out front. I prefer to be away from the major crowds, and I hope this hotel lives up to the wonderful reviews I’ve read. I can’t wait to share my experiences with you when I return (and while I’m there). My one complaint thus far, though, is that I can only seem to find the spa offerings in Swedish. I’m assuming they’ll have more information at the hotel, and I definitely plan on at least one spa treatment while I’m there.
ATTRACTIONS: There are so many sights I wish to see while I’m there. In order to save money, I’m going to purchase The Stockholm Pass. This is offered through a company called Leisure Pass Group, which offered The London Pass that I purchased for my trip to London earlier this year. The Stockholm Pass appears to offer a more robust selection of attractions than The London Pass, so I’ll surely be giving this a HUGE thumbs up when I return. The person who thought up the Leisure Pass Group is a genius in my book!
I also hope to experience some Swedish nightlife while I’m there, and get to know the gay culture of Sweden. From what I understand, the Swedes are much more progressive than we (Americans) are, so I look forward to meeting people and possibly finding a Swedish husband…I won’t hold my breath on the husband part, though 😉
I’ll certainly be snapping photos left and right, and sharing them here. A bulk of them, though, will be housed on my Smugmug page, once I return and get them edited.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended in the use of these photos.