Pre-cruise Swiss Cruising Review

Switzerland - Alpine Tour

Main Index www.CruisingReview.com

SwissTour

Visit Our Travel Store

Travel Insurance

Alpine Tour - Switzerland

Ship Info |Cruise Line & Agent Info | Related Links | Travel Store |

Madison Wisconsin, USA

Pre-trip and Flights to Zurich, Switzerland Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Next >
Madison Wisconsin
Zurich
Zermatt
Zermatt
Zermatt
Chamonix
Chamonix
Chamonix
Geneva
Geneva
Bernese Oberland

How to pack a shirt. 1. Lay flat and fold in half.

2. Fold in arms.

3. Fold in sides.

4. Roll tightly and fix with one or two rubber bands.

One carry-on. The daypack is in the back pocket.

Carry-on, plus waist pack, and box of liquids that are shipped separate in checked baggage.

Top view of carry-on.

View of checked box of liquids.

USPS hold mail example.

USPS hold mail example - back.

USPS hold mail example - front.

SBB Swiss train schedule in .pdf format.

SBB Swiss train schedule in .pdf format.

CSA travel insurance policy.

CSA travel insurance policy - sample terms and benefits.

Riffelalp Resort reservation confirmation.

Rail Europe Tickets

Rail Protection Terms

Delta Ticket

Travel itinerary that I created on Filemaker Pro

Rail Europe Package: what's inside.

Rail Europe Package: what's inside - tickets and vouchers shown.

Rail Europe Tickets

Rail Europe Tickets come via UPS.

Rail Europe ticket folder.

FedEx currency from Wells Fargo.

FedEx currency from Wells Fargo - what's inside.

Currency ordered online and delivered via FedEx.

Example of Swiss Currency - Swiss Franc

Example of Swiss Currency - Swiss Franc

Example of Swiss Currency - Swiss Franc

Example of Swiss Currency - Swiss Franc

Example of Swiss Currency - Swiss Franc

Example of Swiss Currency - Swiss Franc

Example of Swiss Currency - Swiss Franc

Example of Swiss Currency - Swiss Franc

Swiss Coins

Swiss Coins

Swiss Coins

Swiss Coins

Pre Trip Planning

Chart Itinerary

The first thing I do for trip planning is decide on an area (in this case the alps in Swizterland and France), a date (in this case September) and possible routes. The first thing I do is to look up flights and monitor prices. Typically pricing models on airlines are crazy - it's a roll of the dice what fare you'll get, but it's a sure thing that prices go up as the seats fill up. I put all my information into a Filemaker Pro database which gives me a simple format of one page of days, and a reverse page of reservation and other information. I also print out schedules and put them in my travel log (folded in half and put into a comb binder).

Organize your information
(click to enlarge)
Mobal Phone - Good for 140 Countries

Ordering Currency Online

Foreign Currency

Next I order currency. Sure, you can do this at the airport upon arrival, but I like to have it all taken care of in advance. You can always get cash from ATM's, but I prefer not to travel with credit cards that can be stolen and used for instant cash. None of my credit cards have pins - so I need to plan in advance for my cash needs.

(click to enlarge)
Wells Fargo - Currency Exchange Services

Ordering Rail Tickets

Rail Europe

You can order all your rail passes online and in advance. You can even order some cable car lift passes before you leave.

Order Through Global and Get Cash Back
(click to enlarge)
RAIL EUROPE Tickets - Through Global - Get Cash Back With Order

Gifts for Travel Hosts

HelioArt Holiday Tree

This trip I stayed with my good friend Sophie in Geneva. I lasered her a acrylic holiday tree as a gift.

(click to enlarge)

Organizing and Packing

Liquids in Box

For this trip I decided to take my roll-aboard instead of a backpack, along with a daypack, waistpack and a separate box of liquids in checked luggage (rules have since laxed a bit and you are now allowed to take some small amounts of liquids in carry-on luggage).

(click to enlarge)

Organized the Night Before

Night Before

I organize all my travel items the night before I travel. I lay them out on a table and first make sure everything is there before I pack. If you pack less, you have more time to enjoy your vacation because you're not spending time packing and unpacking.

(click to enlarge)

Departure

Delta 767 - 300 ER

After we arrived at the airport, we checked in our bag of liquids as checked luggage. The flight from Madison to Atlanta departed at 12:30 p.m. and was an 1.5 hour flight. The CRJ 200 Regional Jet was cramped. All luggage is either checked through, or checked at the gate. Seating is 2x2 (2 left, 2 right).

(click to enlarge)

Atlanta

Economy Seats

We arrived in Atlanta at 3:40 p.m. (time change) and proceeded to the Delta Crown Room. I have a Northwest WorldClubs pass, which is good in Delta lounges, but thought I'd try my new American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card. AMEX claims to provide free access to premium lounges with this card, and it was not true. The Delta lounge did accept some various types of business AMEX cards, but not this one. My advice - if you need a Delta SkyMiles Card, be wary of the claims from American Express. I tried to use my NWA miles, but it was not possible to transfer them to Delta.

(click to enlarge)

Economy Class

Pepe in Economy

This trip was a budget air travel trip - since I didn't have the $6,000 for each First Class/Business seats, and couldn't use my NWA Frequent Flyer Miles. I monitored the ticket prices for almost three months on a daily basis for various Delta flights - the cheapest I could have gotten my Economy seats were about $800 each (RT). I ended up booking about a month in advance for about $1,200 each. As the seats got booked, even Economy went up to over $2,000 each (RT). This was for travel between Madison to Zurich and back.

(click to enlarge)

Flight to Zurich from Atlanta

Economy Dinner

The flight from Atlanta was delayed by an hour - mostly waiting on the ground. We departed at about 5:50 p.m. and it was an over 10 hour flight. Economy was cramped, uncomfortable, and basically sucked. I tried to be clever and booked aisle seats in the center row (2x3x2 seat configuration) since there were no side-by-side window seats available. Even with the center seat open, we couldn't stretch out that much. If the seatback in front of you comes back, you're in for a long uncomfortable flight.

(click to enlarge)

Dinner

Dinner is Served

This is the first time I've had to endure a Economy Class dinner in a while - and it was very basic. That's ok though - I'd be eating at some great places in Europe. The best thing to do on these overnight flights is try to sleep. I wear E.A.R. foam earplugs to help silent the engine hum. If you don't use earplugs or headsets, you'll have a big headache by the end of the flight. I also wear compression socks (ok, old-folk jokes aside). These keep your feed and ankles from swelling up over the long flight. In cramped seats, they're crucial on a long flight.

(click to enlarge)

Additional Photographs: Pre-trip and Flights to Zurich, Switzerland

(click on photos to enlarge)
Next >
Photo Highlights from this Day ... for all photos, please click on the < or > as indicated above. There are as many as five sets of photos for each day of the cruise. 

Please click on the < or > to get to the next page of photos. 

Related Information

General Info
SwissTour Information
Alpine Tour - Switzerland
Other Pages On This Website
Panama Canal Books | Ultimate Travel Gear | Digital Photo Tips | Luggage Info | List Info | Ultimate Packing Info | Caribbean Books | NCL Norway Review | Cruise Ship Secrets | Radisson Diamond Review | 2003 Radisson Paul Gauguin Review | Travel Bath Kit | NCL Norwegian Sun Review | NCL Norwegian Dawn Review | Radisson Seven Seas Voyager Review | 2004 Radisson Paul Gauguin Review | 2004 Radisson Navigator Review | 2005 Bora Bora Cruises - Tia Moana - Ship Review | 2005 Seadream Yacht Club - Seadream I - Ship Review
Madison-01 | Madison-02 | Madison-08 | Zurich-01 | Zurich-02 | Zurich-03 | Zurich-08 | Zermatt-01 | Zermatt-02 | Zermatt-03 | Zermatt-08 | Zermatt-01 | Zermatt-02 | Zermatt-03 | Zermatt-08 | Zermatt-01 | Zermatt-02 | Zermatt-03 | Zermatt-08 | Chamonix-01 | Chamonix-02 | Chamonix-08 | Chamonix-01 | Chamonix-02 | Chamonix-03 | Chamonix-04 | Chamonix-08 | Chamonix-01 | Chamonix-02 | Chamonix-03 | Chamonix-04 | Chamonix-05 | Chamonix-08 | Geneva-01 | Geneva-02 | Geneva-08 | Geneva-01 | Geneva-02 | Geneva-03 | Geneva-04 | Geneva-08 | Bernese-01 | Bernese-02 | Bernese-03 | Bernese-04 | Bernese-05 | Bernese-08 | Wengen-01 | Bernese-02 | Bernese-03 | Bernese-04 | Bernese-05 | Bernese-08 | Zurich-01 | Zurich-08 | Zermatt-01
Publications are in PDF format: PDF Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free

| 2006 Tour de Swiss Alps - Riffelalp Resort Review - PDF
| 2006 Tour de Swiss Alps - Riffelalp Resort Review - PDF
| 2006 Tour de Swiss Alps - Riffelalp Resort Review - PDF

 

Cruising and Booking Information Resources

Travel Agent:

Global Energy Travel Services

Contact Info:

()

()

EMAIL: greg@cruisingreview.com

Website: www.CruisingReview.com

Cruise Line Info:

Global Energy Travel Services

Contact Info:

()

EMAIL: greg@cruisingreview.com

Website: http://www.cruisingreview.com

 

Note: This page is printer friendly, and is formatted for standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper.

Cruising Review - www.CruisingReview.com

| Travel Insurance |

Email

Visit Our Travel Store at Amazon.com