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folgersnyourcup 01-23-2013 09:51 PM

Anything I'm Missing? (Marriage Proposal Trip Itinerary)
So first things first...I love to plan vacations. I usually start planning for a vacation about 9 or 10 months ahead of time and really have fun with with the whole thing.

We did the whole Universal/Islands of Adventure side last year and loved it...and I decided to make the main focus of this trip the SeaWorld parks. A little background, her favorite animals are penguins and dolphins. I am trying to pull out all stops on this trip ending with me proposing to my girlfriend of 5 years. I also REALLY want to give her a fun experience and a chance to relax. She was diagnosed with cancer about 6 months ago and has gone through radiation treatment and is still recovering. It has taken a lot out of her but she has been incredibly strong and I am very proud of her. So this is my way of hopefully giving her the best vacation of her life so far and throw a marriage proposal in there as well!

Here's my itinerary right now (I have already booked everything listed here unless noted)

June 4th
-Travel day, check into hotel (Marriott Renaissance SeaWorld)

June 5th
- Aquatica (included with Discovery Cove ticket) with loungers
- T-Rex Cafe or Rainforest Cafe (I have a gift card good at either one)
- 9PM Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba

June 6th
- SeaWorld (included with Discovery Cove ticket)
- Quick Queue Unlimited (free from hotel)
- Feed dolphins
- Beluga Interaction Program (really excited about this!! It looks amazing)
- Dine With Shamu for dinner!

June 7th
- Busch Gardens (included with Discovery Cove Ticket)
- Quick Queue Unlimited
- Serengeti Safari Tour
- Bern's Steakhouse dinner (purchased gift card in advance)

June 8th
- Either Aquatica, SeaWorld, or Busch Gardens again (totally up to her, whichever one she liked the best. My guess is this will probably be SeaWorld due to the new Antarctica area which I can't imagine she won't love)
- Sharks Underwater Grill for lunch if we end up back at SeaWorld
- IFly Orlando at night

June 9th
- Discovery Cove!!
- Swim with dolphins, engagement proposal with elite package cabana including dozen roses, champagne, chocolate, frame, etc. waiting back at cabana after the proposal. Also an animal meet and greet included
- SeaVenture
- Probably relaxing back at the hotel afterwards while she calls everyone in the world to tell them the news!

June 10th
- Check out of hotel and head to St. Augustine where we are staying 1 night at the Bayfront Hilton
- "Vittles and Vino" carriage ride tasting tour (looks awesome! found it here:
- St. Augustine Lighthouse
- Any other suggestions for this night or the next morning? I'm not very familiar with St. Augustine. We stopped here briefly on the way back last year (did not spend the night) and went to the Cuban restaurant, spanish bakery, and did the San Sebastian winery tour, all of which we loved.

June 11th
- Breakfast and lunch somewhere in St. Augustine (Probably O Steen's)
- St. Augustine Wildlife Reserve Tour
- Then off to Savannah, Georgia! Seeing "Savannah Live" at the Savannah Theater that evening. Read a lot of great reviews on these shows on tripadvisor!

June 12th
- Old Town Trolley Tours
- Blue Orb Ghost Tours

June 13th
- Georgia Sea Turtle Center then headed home!

Any thoughts? Any helping on dinner recommendations or anything at all in St. Augustine would be really helpful. I can't believe how excited I am for this trip and to see how excited she will be! It feels like it will never be here!


Yubbie 01-23-2013 10:09 PM

Good job! Don't forget the ring!! Have a great time!

angelmom27 01-23-2013 10:10 PM

Oh my that is awesome. Boy she is one lucky lady. Sounds really nice. Not sure on dinner options for you by BGs we usually do all day dining and grab stuff to eat at the parks.

I haven't been to St Augustine but I have heard it is really nice.
Sounds like you guys are going to have an amazing trip. Please share a TR when you get home.

folgersnyourcup 01-23-2013 10:30 PM

Thanks for the comments! Yubbie, I will definitely triple and quadruple check that I have the ring both before we leave for our vacation AND the morning we go to Discovery Cove! I definitely will be a bit nervous that morning!!

And angelmom, I will definitely post afterwards to let everyone know how it goes! Also, all my girlfriend knows about this trip is that we will be going to SeaWorld because of the new Antarctica attraction. I can't wait to see her reaction!

I had a lot of fun planning this trip and booking so far ahead got me a few discounts. I also opened up a Marriott Rewards Visa about 10 months ago and put all my purchases on it this year. My only reason for getting it was to reach the 125,000 points needed for the 6 night stay at the Renaissance Marriott and it worked out great! The Hilton in St. Augustine I already had Hilton points saved up for.

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina 01-24-2013 06:34 AM

WOW.....what a great getaway you have planned!!! You guys are going to have a WONDERFUL time!

A cople of suggestions for ya :) :

For your Aquatica day, get a cabana rather than a lounger if the budget allows. June could be HOT, and the cabana will give you lots of shade if needed (more than the umbrella at the lounger), plus there's a ceiling fan, a large locker, 12 bottles of water, your own fridge, etc. A better value overall than the loungers, plus this would give your beloved a place to lay down and relax in private if she finds herself too pooped to party for a bit. (you can see some pics of the cabanas in my trip report....see the link in my signature.....Aquatica is on page 2).

For your day that's going to be lady's choice, I would highly recommend Dine With Shamu for dinner. We did this in December and loved it! Keep reading through my trip report and you'll see lots of photos and details about that meal as well.

reelmom 01-24-2013 07:13 AM

She is one lucky lady. I can't wait to read all about it.

folgersnyourcup 01-24-2013 10:04 AM

Thanks for the suggestion on the cabana Gina. I will take a look at the pricing and see if it makes sense. I will say that we did do Aquatica last summer and got the loungers which we enjoyed. It ended up being quite peaceful actually. We went there around the third week of May.

Regarding Dine with Shamu, I REALLY wanted to do this but when I checked it appears this will not be starting for the summer until June 9th.. It looks like this is closed for the last part of March, and then all of April and May for some reason. It just won't work at all for us to go on vacation at any other point this summer. If it was set to open only one day sooner, it would work perfectly for Saturday, June 8th! I may call just to make sure their dates are in fact correct. Thanks for mentioning this!

RabFlmom 01-24-2013 10:50 AM

When you are at BG consider eating on the2nd floor of the big white colonial building at the Crown Colony. Ask for a window table and you will be able to watch giraffes and zebras while you eat dinner.
Often they have live entertainment(piano player). Food is good. Don't need a reservation but the wait for tables might be a little long-especially to get a window table. There is also a roof top balcony but the view of the animals is not as good as inside tables.

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina 01-24-2013 11:21 AM

Another dinner idea, if Dine with Shamu doesn't pan out for your dates, is the Outta Control Dinner Show (at Wonderworks on International Drive). Tony Brent is part comedian, part magician, and puts on an absolutely awesome show. The meal is all-you-can-eat (popcorn, salad, pizza, white cake....served family-style at the table, in that order) and beverages (both alcoholic and non) are unlimited and included as well. While nothing "outstanding", the pizza is very good and there's lots of it. The real attraction is the show, and its just a bonus that they feed and water you while you are at it!

There is tons of audience participation, and parking is super easy and cheap right next door at Pointe Orlando (I think we paid $3 for the evening). Location is very convenient to SeaWorld hotels.

Regular price is $24.99 pp, but you can usually find discounts online which will knock another $2 off the cost.

Highly recommended!!

folgersnyourcup 01-27-2013 10:56 AM

Thanks for the dining recommendation at Busch Gardens Rabflmom. I did not know this existed and looks like it would be a lot of fun! We will definitely have to check it out while we are there.

And Gina, we actually did the Outta Control dinner show (and WonderWorks) last summer and had a TON of fun! I was actually selected to go up on stage (after having several drinks) and my girlfriend got a lot of great pictures and videos as I tried to perform a magic trick. I recall having to say a phrase and then pull a $20 bill out of a fruit or something.. It was a lot of fun and they were very generous with the food as well. We also ended up doing the laser tag and ropes course thing the next morning.

I just realized something regarding the timing of this entire trip though... I am REALLY hoping Antarctica is open by the time we visit! I was taking a look at some things and it looks like last year Freshwater Oasis at Discovery Cove was billed as having a spring 2012 open date but did not end up opening until around June 29th.... Surely SeaWorld will have Antarctica open by Memorial Day weekend! It would certainly be disappointing if they opened this attraction the week after our visit. But I do realize spring doesn't "officially" end until June 20th though.

Here's hoping they open this at some point during May at the latest...doesn't SeaWorld know we will be there on June 6th???? :):)

angelmom27 01-27-2013 12:25 PM

I think Anartica is going to be opening soon. Got an email about entering to win a vacation for four for the grand opening. I need to take a closer look at it on the computer and see if I can find any dates maybe a hint to when it will open. Fingers crossed its soon.

mdurette 01-27-2013 06:53 PM

What an awesome job!!!

For Tampa check out Berns Steahouse. Simply a very unique experience.
Check out the reviews - worth it.

folgersnyourcup 01-31-2013 09:55 AM

WOW. Bern's Steakhouse looks incredible. I have never seen anything like the dessert menu I just looked at! It looks like this will work out great the night we will be at Busch Garden's (Friday, June 7th). The park closes at 7 so we could plan to be at Bern's by 8 at the latest (about a 25 minute drive). They stay open until 11PM that night.

I'm going to go ahead and buy a gift card from their website. Then it looks like they take reservations within 3 months of your meal so I will just make a reminder to check back.

Thanks for the recommendation! We love great steak restaurants and this certainly looks to be one of the best in the area.

mdurette 01-31-2013 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by folgersnyourcup (Post 47364974)
WOW. Bern's Steakhouse looks incredible. I have never seen anything like the dessert menu I just looked at! It looks like this will work out great the night we will be at Busch Garden's (Friday, June 7th). The park closes at 7 so we could plan to be at Bern's by 8 at the latest (about a 25 minute drive). They stay open until 11PM that night.

I'm going to go ahead and buy a gift card from their website. Then it looks like they take reservations within 3 months of your meal so I will just make a reminder to check back.

Thanks for the recommendation! We love great steak restaurants and this certainly looks to be one of the best in the area.

You WILL need reservations in advanace - so make sure you make them. It is more than just good food - it really is an experience. They will take you to their wine cellar - you move into the desert room. It is all just very unique. Enjoy!!!!

dprincessmom 02-02-2013 10:06 PM

First let me say she is a lucky lady to have a guy like you not because of this trip (but that doesn't hurt) but for staying with her as she battles cancer

DTD dining: Rainforest Café is nice, but not quiet and not relaxing. There are other options at DTD that you could give a try.

St Augustine: If you have the time take one of the trolley tours they are pretty fun. You do not have to do the extra museums just ride the trolley and get off and on around town. Ask the guides for advice on where to eat, they will point you in the right direction.

Good luck with the trip and the proposal - Looks like you can start planning your honeymoon in a few months.

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