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Old 02-21-2011, 05:13 AM   #1
Pinky166
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They don't call me "Clever Claire" for nothing!
 
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Dream Maiden Voyage Trip Report, A Dream Come True = Completed


Cast:

Me (Claire) – 35 year old, Disney nut that loves a bit of retail therapy and the occasional cocktail or two.

Lee – 36 year old, NOT a Disney nut or a cocktail drinker.....but he is an AWESOME shopper!!!!




Saturday 22nd January 2011:


After spending most of the night trying to get to sleep I finally fell asleep around 5.30am and was awoken by the alarm at 8am……oh well I guess I’ll have an extra two bags (under my eyes) to check in at Gatwick! There was no hesitation about getting up this morning, we jumped up out of bed raring to go. Lee chucked on some clothes and took the dogs for a walk across the field whilst I showered and got ready, once Lee returned he also showered. We put the last of the essentials into the case and loaded the car with our luggage and the dogs and set off for my parents house as they would be taking care of the pups whilst we are away. Believe me when I say the dogs look forward to our holidays just as much as Lee and I as they are thoroughly spoilt rotten by my parents. We had a cup of tea and soon said our (in my case tearful) goodbyes to the dogs and my parents.

As we drove off we soon realised that we had yet to eat anything and decided that due to the remodelling at Gatwick South Terminal and current lack of eateries that we would stop off at our local Ask for lunch. I didn’t fancy any of the starters but Lee opted for his favourite Garlic King Prawns, followed by Roast Leg of Duck, finished off with Chocolate & Hazelnut Torte all washed down with a couple of Peroni’s. I opted for my usual Chicken & Mushroom risotto, followed by Banoffee Pie & a large Pinot Grigio.

Suitably fed I drove to Gatwick. Thankfully the M25 was very clear, we had no hold ups whatsoever. We parked up at the Hilton and checked in, after dropping our hand luggage in our room and our cases at the bell desk.


Our room:







We got back in the car and made our way to the long stay car park, where we opted to upgrade (£25) to have the meet & greet service on our return – which turned out to be a very wise move (that will become obvious by the end of the report) we got the courtesy bus back to the terminal, collected our cases from the Bell desk and went through to the terminal for Twilight check in. We were checked in within minutes and free of our bags so had a walk around the terminal – nothing much to see due to the remodelling work – so we stocked up in Marks & Spencers with some wine, crisps & sandwiches for later.

We also bought a Gingerbread Latte each from Costa coffee in the hotel lobby and went back to the room, where we chilled out with our wine and snacks whilst watching Saturday night tv and using the wifi internet access.



Sunday 23rd January 2011:


We woke about 6am, I slept fairly well all things considered. We got dressed & went down to the Garden restaurant for breakfast (included in the booking), it was buffet style and we both had sausage, bacon & eggs, orange juice & tea. After brekkie we went back to our room and back to bed for an hour well there was no point in heading over to the terminal too early.

We got up (again) and showered, then left our room about 10am and walked across to the terminal. We were straight through security without much delay and I was soon sipping the free Baileys samples in the middle of the terminal…..well I’m officially on holiday now! We spent ages in World of Duty free whilst I tried to find a new perfume but gave up after a while, all I got was a headache from smelling them all. I bought a baguette from Pret a manger to take on the plane for later (as I don’t do plane food ), we also stocked up on magazines from WHSmith’s and then headed to our gate #13. As soon as we arrived at the gate they started boarding, Premium Economy was called within a minute or two so we were soon settled in our seats (79 A+C upstairs) and sipping Champagne.

We took off on time and were soon being served dinner. I stuck with my trusted Ham & Cheese Baguette, Lee opted for Prawn Cocktail, Beef Stew & Sticky Toffee Pudding. (Sorry for the lack of photos but our camera was stored away by the air stewardess in my bag that was too big to go in the overhead locker). The flight passed very slowly, it actually took 9 hours 40 mins due to 120mph head winds which resulted in quite a lot of turbulence. Lee watched several films & I attempted to watch Megamind a few times but got bored so ended up just reading and listening to my ipod – mainly the DIS Unplugged podcasts as I’d stored them up for a few weeks for the journey.

We eventually landed about 5.45pm local time, thankfully we were one of the first off the plane and through immigration. Lee went off to collect the luggage whilst I made my way to the Hertz desk to collect the hire car keys. Lee caught up with me just as I was finished at the desk and we made our way to the car park and loaded up the white Toyota Yaris, pointed it in the direction of the Royal Pacific Resort and off we went.

We unloaded the car & checked in, where we were given an upgrade to a partial park view room, a great start to the holiday.












We were feeling quite tired and very hungry so we decided to go & get some food before we unpacked, we went to Jake’s American Bar. I started with Chicken Quesadilla then had a Cheese & Bacon Burger but it was way too big & I only ate about half, Lee had Sweet & Spicy Buffalo Wings to start and BBQ Rack of Ribs for main, again he struggled to eat it as the portions were so big….we always forget with our first meal just how big the portions are. I had a couple of Joanna’s Pina Colada cocktails (Rum, Banana Schnapps & Coconut), Lee had Coke. We paid the bill = $70 + tip and went back to the room, quickly unpacked a few clothes etc for the next few nights and crawled into bed about 10pm.


Next up – Islands of Adventure & a spot of shopping!
__________________
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Sept 2000 - I-Drive, Sept 2002 - Kissimmee, Sept 2003 - AKL, Sept/Oct 2006 - Univ PBR, June 2008 - DLRP, Hotel NY, Dec 2008 - Univ HRH, WL & YC, Sept 2009 - OKW, 4n Wonder & Poly, June 2010 - BLT, Nov 2010 - DLRP, Sequoia Lodge, Jan 2011 - Univ RPR, Dream Maiden Voyage & AKV, Sept 2011 - 14n WBTA & BLT, Oct 2012 - Paris & DLRP, June 2013 - 7n Med Cruise, Oct 2013 - Univ RPR, SSR, & Fantasy, May 2014 - 12n EBTA, Sept 2014 - 14n WBTA, May 2015 - 15n EBTA, Sept 2015 - West Coast Road trip & Disneyland

Last edited by Pinky166; 03-23-2011 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:15 AM   #2
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Monday 24th January 2011 – Islands of Adventure and a little bit of retail therapy.


We both slept fairly well, I was wide awake at 6am and Lee woke around an hour later. I made some coffee from the in room facilities….which as always was a waste of time as it tasted nasty! I came out of the bathroom to discover Lee laying on the floor doing his stretches……..he was limbering up ready to go for a run! Nutter! Oh well, I’ll just get back in bed then.

Lee returned about an hour later so we showered and got ready and had a walk around the resort, here is the park view from our room:





The resort:
















Once we had explored most of the resort we took the water taxi over to Citywalk:






We stopped off at Cinnabon and shared a Caramel PecanBon – which was very yummy!




Citywalk was very busy, in fact the busiest I have ever seen it. We walked across to Islands of Adventure and went on Spiderman, it had been a few years since we were last at IOA and Spidey was just as good as we remembered.











We decided to head around to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as it was getting extremely busy in the park, we must have seen at least ten large Brazilian tour groups already from walking from Citywalk to Marvel Island!! Well as you can imagine WWoHP was crazy busy!














Continued below........
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Sept 2000 - I-Drive, Sept 2002 - Kissimmee, Sept 2003 - AKL, Sept/Oct 2006 - Univ PBR, June 2008 - DLRP, Hotel NY, Dec 2008 - Univ HRH, WL & YC, Sept 2009 - OKW, 4n Wonder & Poly, June 2010 - BLT, Nov 2010 - DLRP, Sequoia Lodge, Jan 2011 - Univ RPR, Dream Maiden Voyage & AKV, Sept 2011 - 14n WBTA & BLT, Oct 2012 - Paris & DLRP, June 2013 - 7n Med Cruise, Oct 2013 - Univ RPR, SSR, & Fantasy, May 2014 - 12n EBTA, Sept 2014 - 14n WBTA, May 2015 - 15n EBTA, Sept 2015 - West Coast Road trip & Disneyland
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:19 AM   #3
Pinky166
a little on the OCD side
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They don't call me "Clever Claire" for nothing!
 
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We had a look around but the queues were so long to get in all the shops let alone the rides, we had the early entry perk as we were staying onsite so we decided that we would leave it and get up early tomorrow and doing everything then when hopefully it wouldn’t be anywhere near as busy. We were feeling quite hungry by now so we went into the Three Broomsticks to see how busy it was in there, well to our surprise there wasn’t a queue. I had the Shepherds Pie which is served with a Salad, Lee went for the Rotisserie Chicken, Potatoes & Corn on the Cob (again no food porn pic, we must have forgotten - but I promise I do have loads) Lee had water & I had a Butterbeer….which was very nice but very sweet.







As we were leaving Lee took a few pics inside the restaurant and one of the cast members who was cleaning tables came over to him and dragged him off on a tour of the restaurant showing him all the different areas and what to take photos of, she was very sweet but I won’t bore you with all the pics as there were lots.









After lunch we had a look in Honeydukes sweet shop but soon gave up as you could barely move, it was very hot today and Lee had forgotten to put sun cream on this morning so we decided to head back to the resort. On the way we looked in the shops at Citywalk and I bought a lovely bracelet. We got the water taxi back and took a few more pics on the way back to the room.












Lee fancied a nap…..I can’t take him anywhere!




We chilled out in the cool air conditioned room for about an hour before deciding to go to the Florida Mall for a bit of retail therapy. I bought a few eye shadows in Sephora, a few bits for upcoming Secret Exchanges from the Disney Store and some peanut butter M&M’s from M&M World. I was intending to walk straight past the Pandora shop as there haven’t been any new one’s released for a while but Lee suggested we have a look anyway…..what a mistake that turned out to be – I left the shop 6 charms richer & Lee’s credit card a lot poorer! Ooops!

It was time for dinner but we didn’t fancy any of the options at F-Mall, I had been desperate to try the Cheesecake Factory on our last few trips but we never seemed to fit it in so we decided to drive over to the Mall @ Millenia. Unfortunately we didn’t have our camera with us at the mall so no food porn but I had Spaghetti Carbonara & Lee had Rib Eye Steak, everything was fab but we were too full for dessert so we got some to go, I took pics of the cheesecake when back in the room.

Red Velvet Cheesecake (sorry, I started eating it before remembering to take a pic)




White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Cheesecake (I ate this one the next day as Lee wasn’t keen, but he doesn’t really like cheesecake anyway)




We went back to the resort and crashed out about 10.30pm.


Coming soon – Round Two of WWoHP, Universal Studios, more shopping & Port Canaveral.

(BTW - I am going to continue on one thread rather than individual posts, so look out for updates )
__________________
Claire






Sept 2000 - I-Drive, Sept 2002 - Kissimmee, Sept 2003 - AKL, Sept/Oct 2006 - Univ PBR, June 2008 - DLRP, Hotel NY, Dec 2008 - Univ HRH, WL & YC, Sept 2009 - OKW, 4n Wonder & Poly, June 2010 - BLT, Nov 2010 - DLRP, Sequoia Lodge, Jan 2011 - Univ RPR, Dream Maiden Voyage & AKV, Sept 2011 - 14n WBTA & BLT, Oct 2012 - Paris & DLRP, June 2013 - 7n Med Cruise, Oct 2013 - Univ RPR, SSR, & Fantasy, May 2014 - 12n EBTA, Sept 2014 - 14n WBTA, May 2015 - 15n EBTA, Sept 2015 - West Coast Road trip & Disneyland
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:43 AM   #4
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Lovely photos Claire - love the look of that Cinnabon and also the second cheesecake - yummy.

Can't wait to read more

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Old 02-21-2011, 06:55 AM   #5
mandymouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinky166 View Post
Cast:

Me (Claire) – 35 year old, Disney nut that loves a bit of retail therapy and the occasional cocktail or two.
Hmm, I hope this trippy is going to be more accurate than that opening sentence Claire

What a great start and fab photos too. I can't believe how busy WWoHP still is. The Royal Pacific looks gorgeous, I've just shown my DD your photos as she is thinking of staying at Universal for one night

I can't wait for your next update
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:20 AM   #6
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You've started your report!

The Hilton looks very nice, as does your view at RPR.

Can't wait for more.
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:32 AM   #7
Linda67
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Wondeful photos Claire

We loved our stay of the Royal Pacific Resort and your photos are bring back lovely memories
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:50 AM   #8
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Great start Claire

The Royal Pacific looks lovely but if we did a Universal hotel, I think the boys would choose the Hard Rock as they both love their music

Looking forward to more
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:53 AM   #9
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Great start Claire,
I love the look of that cinnabon and the cheesecakes


I really want one of these.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:43 AM   #10
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Claire....are you a vampire?! You don't have a reflection.....

Quote:
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Great trippie so far! Loving all the pics - they're fab
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:39 AM   #11
Pinky166
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They don't call me "Clever Claire" for nothing!
 
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Thanks for reading everyone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mandymouse View Post
Hmm, I hope this trippy is going to be more accurate than that opening sentence Claire

What a great start and fab photos too. I can't believe how busy WWoHP still is. The Royal Pacific looks gorgeous, I've just shown my DD your photos as she is thinking of staying at Universal for one night

I can't wait for your next update
Hey missus - I can promise you I am 35, I know I look good for my age but i'll show you my birth certificate to prove it.

It was crazy busy at IOA. I was surprised by it too. Lee kept laughing at me as I kept complaining along the lines of "How dare it be this busy".


Quote:
Originally Posted by strawberry blonde View Post
Great start Claire

The Royal Pacific looks lovely but if we did a Universal hotel, I think the boys would choose the Hard Rock as they both love their music

Looking forward to more
Thanks, I did like the Royal Pacific Resort but tbh I prefer the Hard Rock and Portofino more.


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Claire....are you a vampire?! You don't have a reflection.....




Great trippie so far! Loving all the pics - they're fab
Well Lee took that photo, so that explains a lot of things to me.
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Sept 2000 - I-Drive, Sept 2002 - Kissimmee, Sept 2003 - AKL, Sept/Oct 2006 - Univ PBR, June 2008 - DLRP, Hotel NY, Dec 2008 - Univ HRH, WL & YC, Sept 2009 - OKW, 4n Wonder & Poly, June 2010 - BLT, Nov 2010 - DLRP, Sequoia Lodge, Jan 2011 - Univ RPR, Dream Maiden Voyage & AKV, Sept 2011 - 14n WBTA & BLT, Oct 2012 - Paris & DLRP, June 2013 - 7n Med Cruise, Oct 2013 - Univ RPR, SSR, & Fantasy, May 2014 - 12n EBTA, Sept 2014 - 14n WBTA, May 2015 - 15n EBTA, Sept 2015 - West Coast Road trip & Disneyland
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:32 PM   #12
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Yaayy, I've been really looking forward to this one. Great pics Claire but can I ask you to do me a favour - please don't post any more perfect photos of Cinnabons, I really want one now but there's no way of getting one at this time of night.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:51 PM   #13
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I have been waiting sooooooo long for you to start this. love the photo's of RPR I really fancy staying there one day.great start. I was drooling from the mention of gingerbread lattes...and that is before you left the country
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:16 PM   #14
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great start and fab piccies
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:45 PM   #15
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Yay, I was hoping you would write a trippie........great start
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