Peter Pan and Greyhound Review

IIMG_6792 went to New York for the weekend. Which meant spending a total of 9 hours on a bus, leaving from South Station in Boston, headed for Port Authority in New York. On the way there I went with a Peter Pan bus and on the way back I went with Greyhound. Peter Pan and Greyhound are interchangeable, because the same company owns them, so you never know which bus you will take. However, there are a couple of differences. I personally prefer the Greyhound buses and here’s why:

 

The Peter Pan bus was slightly older and grimier. It wasn’t too bad, but there did seem to be a lot of gum stuck everywhere. However, the WIFI worked just fine, so I shouldn’t really complain, because WIFI is very important on such long trips. We didn’t stop at all on our way down, except for a short stop in Hartford to switch drivers. So we didn’t get a break to get up and stretch, but I didn’t mind, at least we didn’t waste any time. We got to New York with only the slightest delay, caused by traffic right outside of the city. In general Peter Pan is cheap and efficient, the quality is ok. It’s not the best, but not the worst.

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Greyhound was better. Their buses seem a little bigger, so their seats are wider and more comfortable. The driver was very nice and helpful. At the beginning of the journey he gave us information about the length of the trip, the WIFI and other info we might need. Half way through the drive, we stopped for about 15 minutes at a rest stop where we could go to Burger King or McDonald’s. After that we continued on the trip to Boston. There were a couple of bad things about this particular journey. First, the bus eventually started smelling like pee. This was masked by the smell of burgers after our stop, but the smell came back, even stronger. Second, the individual lights above the seats didn’t work. So when it got dark in the evening, there was not much I could do for the rest of the trip.

 

Overall I like traveling with Peter Pan/Greyhound. They are cheap and they get you wherever you need. The quality may not be great, but it is what you would expect for the price.

 

Next read my article about what to do on a long trip!

Emirates – worth the hype?

For the past year or so, I’ve been hearing a lot of praise for Emirates. I’ve flown with quite a few airlines already, but I kept hearing how Emirates is off the charts wonderful. Finally last week, I got my chance to check it out and see how the airline compares to its competition. So what did I think?

My Emirates plane!

Pre-flight

To be honest, I can’t judge their booking process, as I haven’t gone through it myself. But from the point of receiving my tickets onward, I was happy with the pre-flight process. A day before each departure (from Prague and then from Dubai on my way back), I received a text message, reminding me of my upcoming departure. What was great about this text was that it included a link to online check-in, so I could complete that fairly quickly. At the airport, it was pretty standard – bag drop, quick coffee, security. The one thing I have to say is that on the way back, my check-in, passport and security checks were completed in a total of 15 minutes. That was a first for me, so I was fairly impressed and at a loss for what to do in two and a half hours I had until boarding.

Flight

On my way there, I sat in the very last row of the plane. I don’t really sleep on planes, so I’m not bothered by travelers or flight attendants frequently walking by my seat. I was flying in a Boeing, but I was immediately impressed with their in flight entertainment, which you can start watching as soon as you sit down. Boarding was a quick process and I even got lucky – the seat next to me was empty – probably the only empty seat on the plane. And on medium to long haul flights, this is something I always hope for. I held my breath and was so happy when they closed the cabin door and it was certain that I won’t be fighting for my spot on the armrest. The flight was almost entirely a smooth ride, with no major turbulence or other disruptions.

In-flight entertainment

Even before takeoff, we got hot towels to freshen up and headsets were already on our seats. As soon as the safety video was over, I started looking through my movie choices. The selection was impressive and included several movies that I have been planning to see. Which means that precisely at that point I decided that I’d use the six or so hours to catch up on movies and tv, rather than sleep. (I was grateful for the same selection on the way back, because even then I didn’t watch everything I wanted to).

The in flight entertainment was so great that I didn’t even feel the need to test the in flight WiFi or turn on my phone, which were also within the realm of possibility on these flights. 

Emirates food

Cabin service was amazing. When mealtime came, I was worried that, as often happens in the back of the plane, I wouldn’t be able to choose my meal. And guess what? They still had chicken when they reached the last row of the plane, which almost never happens. And it was not just edible, it was good. I also fell in love with their adorable mini snacks that were a part of the meal. But my favorite part? When they collected my tray ahead of time, so I didn’t have to wait for the cart to reach my row.

 

Emirates luggage tag.

Does it stack up?

Both of my flights, Prague to Dubai and the return journey a few days later, were great and comfortable experiences and we landed before I could get bored.

My conclusion: you have to try it. It’s still an airline, but if you’re traveling far and want to feel at least a little pampered even in economy class, do it.

More details on my adventure in Dubai are coming soon, so make sure to check in later!


READ MORE: 

How we flew with Ryan Air

How to plan your trip (without going crazy)


5 hours at the Frankfurt Airport

When traveling back to Boston, I had a 5-hour layover in Frankfurt. This gave me plenty of time to walk around and see what this airport is about. My gate was Z50, so right after landing from Prague I headed for that area of the airport.

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The Frankfurt airport is huge, which means it looks extremely empty. At one point, it looked like I was completely alone. That didn’t bother me, I prefer the emptiness over crowded airports, where you constantly crash into somebody, because they are standing in the middle of the hall.

One thing did bother me at the airport, though, the WIFI. Everywhere they advertised free WIFI, but those signs mostly just mocked me. For the first two hours of my layover I could not connect to the WIFI on my iPhone or my laptop. Finally, I managed to sign in and register for 24 hours. I was just thinking that the five hours would not be that bad, when the WIFI cut out for the first time. I spent the rest of the layover trying to reconnect to the internet, hoping I could entertain myself with something more than the few people around me.

 

I was also hoping for more shops,IMG_6478 where I could just buy a drink or a small snack. I wandered around for quite some time, but found nothing, so I ended up going to McDonald’s. I was very disappointed with the service there. When I came up to the counter to order, the cashier seemed very surprised that I did not speak German. Maybe my expectations are ridiculous, but why does it surprise people that at an international airport there are customers who do not speak the local language? Somehow, I managed to order an iced coffee and I got the right order, but not without a lot of sass and attitude from the cashier.

After spending five hours at this airport, I decided to avoid it, at least for the long layovers. For short transfers I’m sure the airport is great. It is clear where you have to go, and even though the distances are long, I had no issues getting from one gate to another. But hours seem to drag at the Frankfurt airport, so if you are someone who needs a lot of entertainment, bring a buddy or a lot of books :)!


READ MORE: 

How we flew with Ryan Air

Festival survival tips