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PurpleChick
06-22-2001, 04:48 PM
Cast of characters
Me - 34 year old workaholic in desparate need of a vacation
DH - 37 year old kid at heart who does not like to be on a set schedule during vacation

Our Trip
We booked five nights at the Hard Rock Hotel (June 16-June 21)
Did not rent a car - used transtar and hotel shuttle
Purchased the four park flex ticket (USF, IOA, SeaWorld and Wet & Wild)
Chose five nights beacuse we wanted plenty of time to relax although you can see parks much faster with the express access

Day Three - Sea World

Since DH and I had originally planned to stay at Sea World the whole day and see the fireworks at night, I thought a good breakfast would be in order. I hung the menu out on the door before we went to bed. I ordered the adult breakfast eggs, hashbrowns and bacon. It also came with toast, muffins and coffee. I also ordered a childs french toast that came with a choice of chocolate milk, regular milk or juice. The delivery time was scheduled between 7:00 - 7:20. It came right around seven. The adult breakfast was way too much food. I would recomend just ordering the kids meals. It will also save you money. Also can anyone tell me why they have a gratuity line on the room charge slip when 18% gratuity and a delivery charge is already included on your bill. That really annoys me.

We were planning on taking the shuttle to Sea World but the earliest shuttle is 8:55 and we wanted to get there when the park opened, so our friends offered to pick us up. DH decided it would be fun to bring our motorola two way radios to the park since there would be six of us all together. Mine was in my fanny pack and DH had his in his pocket. He thought it would be funny in the elevator if he made mine ring. We got down to the lobby early and DH sat on the couch with the Mick Jagger sculpture behind it and read the paper. Our friends picked us and when we got half-way to Sea World guess who didn't have his radio. This really put a damper on our whole day. DH felt sick to his stomach. These things are not cheap. We called HRH from my girlfiends cell phone. DH talked to security, they said they would send someone to look for it but would not do it while he was on the phone.

Sea World has a completly different feel, kind of like being in a zoo. It is a very big park. There is a lot of shade on one side of the park but it was really hot that day. Maybe I just wasn't dressed right plus the radio thing but this place wiped me out. We only lasted six hours and ended up going home with our friends.

The Key West area was neat place and had Buffet style music playing through-out. We went to Dolphin Cove where you feed the dolphins and saw the key west dolphin show. I hadn't been to Sea World since 1986 so this area was all new to me.

The penguin encounter is a nice place to cool off. The terrors of deep had to be my favorite exhibit though where you actually walk through the middle of the shark tanks.

At Shamu stadium my girlfriend got picked to be in the show. We sat in the splash zone but only the first couple rows get really wet.

Next we went to the childrens area - Shamu's Happy Harbor. My girlfiends kid's had their suits on and played in the water tunnels for a while. Then it was on to lunch. Nothing great here. Ate out of pure necessity.

After lunch me, my DH, girlfriends DH and girlfriends DD went on the journey to atlantis - water ride. It was very hard to wait in line after using the rock star access!
We sat in the back and didn't get that wet. The drop is no where near as good as Ripsaw Falls but the what happens next will suprise you. Be sure to check out the back of the gift shop after you get off this ride. There is glass floor and ceiling tank. My DH found this but it would be easy to miss.

We finished up in hospitality center. FREE BEER. Note you can only get one beer from the front counter and one drink (beer or doc otis lemonade) from the bar back in the beer school. They also have frozen Doc Otis. The bar back by the beer school has all of the budweiser commercials playing. They seem pretty strict about enforcing these rules and no we did not bring a change of clothes or other disguises!!!

Like I said before this park really exhausted me. The heat just zapped all of my energy. DH was disappointed that we couldn't stay for fire works and I also wanted to see Kraken- the rollercoaster, wild artic, the clyde & seamore show and the water ski show. I just did not have the energy. Since we had the flex tickets we could have came back but even the thought of going back exhausted me.

We got back from Sea World around 3:30 and had a message from security that they had found the two way radio. DH was so relieved. He really felt bad since they were a gift from his DW. Security brought the radio down to our room and DH had to sign some papers. I just got my pictures back from the one-hour photo. I had taken a picture of DH sitting on the couch by the Mick Jagger sculpture and if you look close enough you can see the radio tucked underneath pillow. That picture will definetly go in the scrapbook! My package from IOA was on mini-bar but I did not notice it and called concierge because I thought I had to pick it up in the lobby. We wanted to nap by pool but did not have energy to change into our suits and we both fell asleep on the bed for a while. I then took a book out by the pool while DH napped longer.

We decided to do the dinner and a movie package at Citywalk. I'm not sure if you can do this any time of day but would recommend this more for lunch. Cost $17 and includes select menu items at HRC, Margaritaville, Motown Cafe, Nascar, NBA, Pastamore or Latin Quarters. Also includes a soft drink, coffee or tea. Tax & gratuity are included plus the movie ticket. Four choices for most of the restaurants, most of the choices were sandwiches burgers etc.. We went to NBA City my sandwich the grilled chicken blt was $8 movie ticket was $7 so probably saved couple dollars if you figure in drink tax and tip. Of course they try and get you to order bar drinks etc. We ended up havinq a drink and just tipped on the price of the drinks. Monday nights are the WNBA Miracle nights - Orlandos WNBA team. We ate upstairs in the bar. They had the team mascot there plus gave out souvenier nike/miracle dog tag necklaces and they had a raffle. I won a miracles cd case. Also got a cool NBA city pen w/ basket-ball on top for filling out a survey on the restaurant. Overall food was good & more than enough. We me some really nice miracle fans. I thought decor would be like bad sportsbar and was pleasantly suprised. We saw Pearl Harbor which was three hours long. The theater was very cold. They also sell beer & wine in theater. A storm rolled in while we in movie. Overall this was a nice thing to do during a rainy period or if you just need a break from the parks.

Up next: Day Four - Lazy Day and the Palm

robvia
06-25-2001, 01:16 PM
Great Report.

"Also can anyone tell me why they have a gratuity line on the room charge slip when 18% gratuity and a delivery charge is already included on your bill. That really annoys me. "

It's because rich people may not see it's already there and give even more money. Just another reason to never use any hotel services, because they rip you off.

Next time, find someone with a car and ask them to take you to a grocery store on International Drive. Buy a cooler, and stock it. That will be your revenge for next trip.

Something similar to this happened to me at a comedy club once. They always have a two drink Minimum, which is fine. They bring your bill out right before the show ends, and it already has the tip in there. The amount always comes out to some weird number, so you need change. It's never an even 20, or 30. The girl will simply say, 'Do you need change?' as if to say, " is this my tip?" So I say no so I don't look cheap asking for a few dollars back on the money I gave. So now I've tipped a few dollars more because I didn't want to ask for change back. But guess what? I haven't been back to a comedy club since then.

The gimmick may work a few times, but in the long run, ripping people off doesn't pay, we'll stop going, or stop using that service all together because we hate to be ripped off.

JCO
06-26-2001, 10:21 PM
Glad y'all were able to have some fun at Sea World despite your worries over the two-way radio. I haven't been to Sea World in Orlando since 1984, though I have visited the one in Texas a few times since then. But they don't have Atlantis and Kraaken, so it's not the same.
I agree with you over the room service gratuity. My company paid $18 bucks for me to have a burger and fries (drink not included) on a business trip last year when I had a raging headache and didn't want to leave the room. It's definitely not worth it, unless you have no alternative.

kellymonaghan
06-27-2001, 07:27 AM
I'm sorry you had to miss Clyde & Seamore. After the Shamu show, it's the best thing at SeaWorld.

flower71
06-27-2001, 03:24 PM
Your reports are great so far. Please keep them coming.

Could you tell me where you got your radios? We are traveling to Orlando (splitting our stay between HRH and WL in Disney) in Sept and would like to purchase the radios too!!! Any info would be great....

...onto day 4.

PurpleChick
06-27-2001, 08:29 PM
Flower 71 any electronic store like best buy etc.. will have them.