bmibaby have launched a brand new service called familyfly ’designed to make flying with a family even easier – saving family flyers time, hassle and money.’
Here at Childcare is Fun we were lucky enough to review a short trip to Alicante courtesy of bmibaby.
Alicante is famous for its wonderful boulevard with palm trees and shopping streets, it also has stunning beaches, old plazas, parks, adventure and great weather – even in November we experienced a lovely 21 degrees!
When we visited in november it was warm enough to paddle in the sea and spend an afternoon playing on the beach with the locals (Miss B and Oscar met a little 2 year old and shared their toys with her!)
In all honesty, I’d never have thought to book with a low cost airline when flying with littlies. I thought it couldn’t possibly be a good flight for families with young kids. How very wrong I was!
On arriving to check in, the friendly bmibaby staff ensured we were all sitting together – something which is so important to us for two reasons…
1. I hate flying and 2. With two toddlers sitting together as a family is so much easier!
We didn’t have much time to kill before take off, so we head straight for the gate after taking Miss B for a quick toilet stop on the way.
On arriving at the gate it was announced that all familyfly passengers would board the plane first. At this point I felt rather embarrassed as there was a long line of passengers in a queue and we bumped straight to the front, escorted by a lovely man who took us to the plane steps. We kept our double buggy right up to the plane which was fantastic (my two tots are not light let me tell you!)
The flight attendants were lovely, showing us to our seats, checking we had everything we needed, and handing crayons and colouring sets to our very excited toddlers!
The bmibaby flight was comfortable but there was no entertainment, but it’s a low cost airline remember, so a small negative to pay for a big saving on flight price! I’d packed bits and bobs to entertain and they were more than sufficient for our 2 hour flight.
Meals are not included in the flight, (low cost airline’s don’t include meals) but there is a good light meal selection on board and a reasonable price. We had pate, cheese and crackers and some drinks – Miss B wolfed them down (Oscar fell asleep before take-off and woke just before landing- he had a great flight,) and fought us over our own packs!
On arriving at Alicante, we were horrified when we thought our buggy was missing off the flight! We had flashbacks to our awful Tompson holiday flight experience when they lost the kids case for 3 days! However, the buggy wasn’t lost at all – it was on another conveyer belt, we had not read the signs properly and a helpful spanish lady showed us where it was. Phew!
The return flight was pretty much the same, but we were delayed by 30 minutes, no big deal really as it gave us a chance to look around the airport shops (which by the way are mighty expensive!) The bmibaby staff both on the ground and in the air were totally lovely, and so for both flights I’d give 10/10 for service, 9/10 comfort (O.K for me – I have short legs, but my husband was a bit squashed) and 10/10 for family flying. (They are helpful and lovely with the littlies, first to board and avoiding queuing, handing out free crayons and activity sheets, and quick unloading of luggage.)
Our transfer arranged through bmibaby was with a lovely driver who spoke no English, but with my very tiny amount of Spanish and hand signals we managed to work out a few ‘conversations’! miss B thought he was fab – he let her watch videos of his little girl on his phone and she was amused during our short 25 minute trip to the hotel. He refused a tip on arrival at the hotel, and when he dropped us back at the airport a couple of days later! I can’t fault our transfer at all – 10/10
Our hotel, The hotel Melia was right by the beach and the marina.
With totally lovely views (see the sunrise photos) over the sea and Alicante – I was constantly snapping away on my camera!
I must say I was a little worried prior to our trip as there were a few mean comments on Trip advisor, but they are total rubbish- don’t bother about reading them. I’m being totally honest here when I say the hotel is lovely, very clean and the rooms are fantastic. There is however, one negative thing about our family room which I’ll mention in a minute.
Our family room had two rooms and two bathrooms! Wow! Very lovely indeed. The views over the sea were stunning, especially at sunset and sunrise, I spent the early morning watching the sunrise and taking lots of photos while everybody else slept. and sleep well they did. Black out curtains ensured the sunlight didn’t wake the little ones in their comfy travel cots (supplied by the hotel.)
So – my only negative? No locks on the balcony doors!
This meant I was pretty nervous about them wondering around. Two sets of doors to watch (Miss B, age 2, has just mastered opening doors!) We had to rearrange the furniture to block access. We were pretty high up so I was very worried, but we spent hardly any time in our room so it wasn’t a big deal.
The hotel breakfast buffet was pretty good. Lots of choice between traditional Spanish and English breakfast, continental and lots of fresh coffee and juice.
Our two toddlers loved their daily breakfasts but they made a big mess on the floor! The hotel staff however, were friendly and lovely and showed no grumpiness in our littlies messy eating!
The restaurants in the hotel looked nice, and the menu’s full of nice food, but we didn’t eat there as we wanted to get out and about during our short stay, so I can’t really comment on how good or bad they are.
Marks for the hotel are 8/10 for breakfast (nice food and selection, but not outstanding) 10/10 for service (very friendly staff.) For our room – If the doors had locks on them I’d say 10/10, but the safety worrier in me has to take it down to a (still very good mark) of 9/1. Get locks on those doors lovelies!
Alicante is a lovely part of Spain, lots to do and see (we visited the museum MARQ which the lovely Alicante Tourist board let us have free entry into!) This museum is history brought bang up to date! No dry dusty exhibits here, what you have is the archaeological finds from the Alicante region displayed in a very modern way. It was awarded Europe’s best museum in 2004! If you love archiology, you’ll love this museum. My two toddlers were a little too young to appreciate it, but my husband and I enjoyed it, and the building itself is fabulous!
We also took time to walk along the front of San Juan Beach (La Playa de San Juan.)
The long and open beach has been awarded the Blue Flag of the European Union – impressive hey?! In the summer I’d say it’d be the perfect spot for sunbathing and swimming and having beach fun with the kids.
The locals were very friendly and chatted to the littlies! We loved San Juan Beach with it’s play areas for the little ones. I can imagine however, that in summer – it’s very busy!
The cafes on the San Juan Beach are reasonably priced and the food is nice. We had tapas for lunch on both days and a nice beer to wash it down! Well, we were on holiday!
The restaurants in Alicante marina are quite expensive. If you live in London you’ll not notice any difference realy, but we live in the Midlands now, so noticed the dent in our wallet! Despite the prices, the food is lovely. We had delicious local dishes, and the kids ate really well. Even in November it was warm enough to eat outside and enjoy the spanish live music being played by the locals!
There is so much more to do in Alicante but we only had a short trip so didn’t have a chance to do all the things on offer! If you’re thinking of going, check out the Alicante Tourist board - theres lot’s of information so you can plan your trip ahead.
Bmibaby fly to lots of places, you can see there full schedules here. They often have some pretty amazing deals on too, so keep checking their website to see.
All in all I’d thoroughly recommend a familyfly trip with bmibaby. We had a wonderful few days break in Alicante and will definantley fly with bmibaby familyfly and visit Alicante again.
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