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View Full Version : Day Five - Wet & Wild and Portofino


PurpleChick
06-22-2001, 06:24 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 Five - Wet & Wild and Portofino

We took the 8:55 shuttle to Wet & Wild. The shuttle was late and there was way more people standing in line than there were seats on the bus. You would think that for the first bus out in the morning they would have two buses. Once all small children and not so small children were moved on to laps of their parents everyone else squeezed into bus. We actually had to do a chinese fire drill outside wet & wild to get everyone off the bus since it was standing room only.

Once you get into wet & wild they immediately want more money from you. $13 will get you one towel, one locker (wet inside) and one raft to use in the wave pool and the lazy river. Note: unlike other water parks I have been to, the lazy river does not have its own rafts. We did not go in there anyways because DH said that's were people go to pee! We ended up only getting one $13 combo. Lockers were five bucks separately.

We immediately did the slides we wanted to do before it got crowded. The park was o.k. but my favorite water park is Noah's Ark in the Wisconsin Dells. Everything else just pales in comparison. Most of the rides have a lot of twisty-turny staircases instead of ramps like other parks I've been to. Also this park is very anti water sock. They made us take them off and hold onto them. Sorry but that ground is hot. I have never had a problem wearing water socks at Noahs Ark so I was kind of peeved at this.

We only went on the slides one time each. Then we headed to the wave pool and took turns on the raft. Then we had lunch and DH did the knee ski. He was actually doing great but his helmet was broke and he wiped out when he tried to fix it. He also lost his sunglasses.

It was 1:30 and time to leave. People were still pouring in this place and it was way too crowded. We had guest services call a cab for us since the next shuttle wasn't until 3:30. The taxi was there within five minutes and it cost $6 to get back to HRH. All in all Wet & Wild was okay but I wouldn't have made a special trip there if it wasn't on the flex ticket.

We made reservations at Mama Dellas for dinner. We asked the boat driver previously if we could get from HRH to Portofino by boat and he said the only way to do this way to take the boat to Citywalk and then get on the Portofino boat at Citywalk. We decided we really wouldn't be going out of our way if we stopped at Citywalk had a drink and then got on the boat to Portofino right? So we hit Bob Marleys for one and I had a Red Stripe for old times sake (went to Negril for honeymoon.) Portofino was absolutely beautiful when we pulled up by the boat but the place was absolutely dead. No offense to anyone who has stayed there but we found this hotel to be very stuffy. I've heard the rooms are really nice so maybe people just don't want to come out of them but I felt like I was in a ghost town and it was only 6 pm. Mamas was also dead and Mama was not really all that entertaining, I guess she saves it for a crowd. I was disappointed at the lack of menu choices. I had the cheese tortelini with pesto sauce and DH had the lasagna. The bill was $50 with drinks. The food was good and reasonable (our dinner at the palm was 3x's as much the night before.) But again been there, done that - no need to go back. I think Portofino would have to be free to get us to stay there. Kids would be bored here I think. We are in our middle to late thirties and felt HRH was more for our age group.

We took the boat back to Citywalk and stopped in Pat O'briens. The piano bar only had one player and wasn't as good as the other night but I think we were there too early. No hurricanes for me by this time the rich food that we ate at Mama Dellas was started to affect me. We stopped at Motown Cafe for one and then took the boat back. I did not feel good and fell asleep the minute I hit the bed. DH snuck out to the Velvet lounge and met some guy who used to be a bullpen catcher for a major league baseball team so he was entertained.

Day Six - You can check out but you can never leave!

pixie dust gal!
06-23-2001, 08:02 AM
Purple,

I am sorry that your first glance at PBH wasn't a good one. We have stayed there several times and I absolutely love it!!!!!!!!! My kids love it too. It is always 'quiet' like that even at 90% occupancy - for us, that is a true respite from the parks and crowds. No matter what time you walk around there it always seems you have the place to yourselves. It isn't stuffy at all and they are great w/ kids. Can you tell I am protective of that resort - I just love it so. We are going to HRH for first time because ds's begged to stay here or we would have been back to PBH in an italian moment!

Most people have the same opinion at first glance - I still don't know why; but that is why I loved these reports and boards - you get to see both sides!

Did you get sick from eating at Mama's do you think? I have eaten here 3x and love it. I sure hope it was a fluke and you were feeling better the next day!:confused:

PurpleChick
06-23-2001, 08:27 AM
Pixie Dust Gal

I'm glad you enjoyed my reports. I guess we didn't get the full Portofino experience. We never even found the found the pools. It is very big - a map would have helped. I think the food at food at Mama Della's was just a little too rich for me given the heat. DH thinks the wine could have had something to do with it! You will love the HRH. Have a great trip