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Old 06-14-2004, 07:20 AM   #166
Motherfletcher
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Timing the key?

I plan to check in at about 7:30 AM a week from today. I'm going to self-park on the bottom parking level after unloading the bags (3 with $3 tip). I'm going to try my luck at a Suite upgrade from Club. If I'm still Club I will head directly to the Club Lounge after check-in for Concierge questions and to check the morning offerings. With our FOTL keys in hand I think we'll race to Universal. We'll split up and the kids can take the boat (longer walk) and I'll take the bus (A/C). We will check back periodically to see if the room is ready. Ready or not we'll be in the Club Lounge at 3 for pastries. We will probably return to the park after we get the room (another $3 for the 2nd half of the bellman's job). We'll miss the 5-7 offerings (which are probably the busiest) but home for the 9 o'clock cookies and milk.
My kids bought me a Krusty lap TV tray for Father's Day so I'll be able to make the trek to the Club Lounge, load up and fetch them their desires. Right!
I think, just as touring the park, timing has a lot to do with service and congestion at the Club Lounge and room assignment.
I'm going to try faxing my room request 4 days before arrival. I'm using a Portofino fax cover sheet that I picked up from another stay which might catch an eye. I'm asking for a Bay View with big balcony or Beach pool view like #2663.
Even though its a shot in the dark, I'm taking my daughter's report card to see if PBH still does the Grade A Kids Program. I've been told at RPR that they don't. I'll ask the desk clerk if they will print the cards that they used to.
I'll ask for T-Loews and a Loew's 1st welcome gift. If allowed I think I'll get the "Surprise Regoinal" gift. I'll ask for the local newspaper (last time was Miami Herald?).
What am I forgetting at check-in?
Who or where do I request the turn down service from 6-8 PM?
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Old 06-14-2004, 07:39 AM   #167
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Good plan! Ask about turn down at the desk upon check-in. You Can also call housekeeping from your room. Have Fun:D :D :D
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Old 06-14-2004, 09:05 AM   #168
cjsmith
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Well, I'm back home in Naples and happy to be here. Our stay at the Portofino is one that I will not be re-doing. We had a great time in the parks, and the FOTL pass is a must as the lines were very long.

I call for towels Saturday at 9:00 PM. AFter 2 more phone calls I finally got my towels delivered at 10:40 PM! One of the towels was so covered with what looked like mold that I couldn't believe they sent it to my room! It was just one more example of what went wrong with the weekend.

The manager that we spoke with who promised to so overwhelm us never came through with a thing. The only person who finally helped us was the supervisor of the club lounge. When I asked her for the card of the general manager of the hotel, she asked what was wrong. When I told her, she kicked into high gear and made some phone calls. (This took place on Saturday afternoon.) Well, she got them to take almost $100 off the bill for our stay Saturday night and she also took off the $25 charge for the rollaway for both nights. That was very nice of her and she was the only person who seemed to really care about the clients. I thanked her quite often throughout the rest of our stay and made sure that I tipped her very well prior to leaving.

I will be writing to the general manager of the hotel as well as Loew's corporate offices. I don't know if service was down this weekend because they were sold out or what. I do know that paying $350 per night for a normal room should have afforded a much better experience at a hotel than it did.

On the good side, dinner at Emeril's was amazing. The food and service was wonderful. We also ate lunch yesterday at Tochoup Chop and again, amazing. They really know what they're doing at both of Emeril's restaurants.
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Old 06-14-2004, 09:15 AM   #169
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Re: Timing the key?

Quote:
Originally posted by Motherfletcher
I plan to check in at about 7:30 AM a week from today. I'm going to self-park on the bottom parking level after unloading the bags (3 with $3 tip). I'm going to try my luck at a Suite upgrade from Club. If I'm still Club I will head directly to the Club Lounge after check-in for Concierge questions and to check the morning offerings. With our FOTL keys in hand I think we'll race to Universal. We'll split up and the kids can take the boat (longer walk) and I'll take the bus (A/C). We will check back periodically to see if the room is ready. Ready or not we'll be in the Club Lounge at 3 for pastries. We will probably return to the park after we get the room (another $3 for the 2nd half of the bellman's job). We'll miss the 5-7 offerings (which are probably the busiest) but home for the 9 o'clock cookies and milk.
My kids bought me a Krusty lap TV tray for Father's Day so I'll be able to make the trek to the Club Lounge, load up and fetch them their desires. Right!
I think, just as touring the park, timing has a lot to do with service and congestion at the Club Lounge and room assignment.
I'm going to try faxing my room request 4 days before arrival. I'm using a Portofino fax cover sheet that I picked up from another stay which might catch an eye. I'm asking for a Bay View with big balcony or Beach pool view like #2663.
Even though its a shot in the dark, I'm taking my daughter's report card to see if PBH still does the Grade A Kids Program. I've been told at RPR that they don't. I'll ask the desk clerk if they will print the cards that they used to.
I'll ask for T-Loews and a Loew's 1st welcome gift. If allowed I think I'll get the "Surprise Regoinal" gift. I'll ask for the local newspaper (last time was Miami Herald?).
What am I forgetting at check-in?
Who or where do I request the turn down service from 6-8 PM?
Wow, you're going to leaving Naples at 3:30 AM! I do agree that timing is important. We arrived at 10:00. There were a ton of people who arrived much later than us and got much better room assignments. They were giving people who didn't pay for club rooms on the club floors later on that same day.
I also belong to the Loew's program and we never got our gifts in our room, just the local Orlando paper delivered every morning.
I wouldn't count on a suite upgrade. From what they told us, they are almost fully commited for the next few weeks.
I wouldn't bother racing back for patries at 3. It was one plate of mini tiramisu, mini cannolis, and mini biscotti and that was it.

The problem that I see with the club floor is that they have 2 whole floors that they called club. The lounge itself is small for that amount of people and they only have 5 people who work here, 3 during the day and 2 in the evening. There is no way for them to take care of hundreds of people.

Now if I had paid the same rate as you ($129) per night, I would have been happy. (How did you ever get that rate?) But at $350 a night, I wasn't a happy camper. That was the AAA rate. The Florida resident rate was $30 more and the regular rack rate was $75 more.
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Old 06-14-2004, 10:20 AM   #170
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I have left here at 3:30 before, but not this time. We will leave for Orlando Friday after work. I always stay off-site before and after. The thing that gets me hot is my kids will like our $33/night room better than PBH. They just say that because it makes me hot. I don't know why I go through all their greif on Father's Day. The best present would be for Mom to keep them at home and I go alone. Last time we were there I was talking to father from Detroit that did exactly that, but didn't tell his family that he was going.
We leave the park when it starts getting congested/hot and they have to give us a room by 4 so we will be hanging in the Club shooting pool at 3. Maybe we can hustle enough to pay our bill? was the pool table busy? My DS16 wants me to teach him and we went through $20 worth of tokens at Motown last week. Pool is $2 per game on the arcade machines.
My kids will borrow towels from the pool or hunt down a maid's cart.
Sounds like my kids wouldn't eat the pastries anyway. They don't eat anything they haven't seen before or can't pronounce.
You didn't get a very good rate. I got a free night for staying at RPR twice before 6/30 and I got APH rate of $258 for the night I have to pay for. I bet that I could easily upgrade to a Portofino Suite for what you paid. You should have got the Loew's 1st welcome gift with AAA rates? At check out they would have given you $10 off the minibar at least.
Sounds like you ate well, anyway.
I'll try to make up for your loss on my stay! Whats the Club Supervisor's name? Whats the manager's name that I need to avoid? What are you suppose to tip Club employees?
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Old 06-14-2004, 10:58 AM   #171
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The only thing that we ate was really the breakfast and then my kids would have some cookies at night. The lines were so long to get the cheese and crackers that my husband wouldn't bother with it. I'm not going to fight with someone who basically takes plate fulls of food and leaves little for the others just so I can have a hunk of cheese! We usually stay club level when we travel and this time around we were quite surprised at how little they offered. And boy when times up, they quickly take everything away. Breakfast is over at 10 am and at 9:55 every morning, stuff was quickly put away! We stayed last weekend at the Ritz Carlton in South beach and paid the same rate and what a HUGE difference. We also stay at the Yacht Club about 25 nights per year and again, it's a big difference. The club rooms are on the same floor and they only have so many, so it's not as crowded. Saturday evening in the club lounge here was very crowded and loud. There wasn't a seat to be had anywhere. Breakfast Sunday morning was hard. We got there at 9 am and there were dirty dishes on almost every table and no where to sit. The staff was so busy that anyone who did find a table had to bus it themselves!
The reason that we couldn't upgrade to a suite or anyone else for that matter was that the hotel was SOLD OUT. It's also sold out for next weekend. This includes all of the suites. There wasn't a room available at any of the onsite hotels.
The pool table was very busy since there is only 1 and they will book hundreds of rooms for the club level. You basically get to
play a game and then have to be gracious enough to let others use it. Same with the 2 computers, you get 15 minutes on them and then have to let others have their turn as they also paid for the amenities.
What you tip depends on what they do for you. I tipped the valet staff $2 to $3 everytime they got our car. I also tip around $2 per bag at deluxe resorts. We gave one of the guys $10 on Saturday night because he would get us beer. I gave the supervisor $20 for her efforts.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy your staff.
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Old 06-14-2004, 01:23 PM   #172
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If you don't mind I would also like the name of the helpful manager and the unhelpful one. Anyway welcome home:D :D :D
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Old 06-14-2004, 07:45 PM   #173
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I am really shocked at how bad your experience was, cjsmith. We have NEVER had a bad trip to PBH, no matter what level we stayed in. Of course, we usually avoid peak season. However, last trip we were there during the opening weekend of Mummy, it was sold out, and we still received very good service.
One piece of info for all: As of 1/1, they no longer give the Loews First club gifts unless you are paying rack rate. Personally, I don't think milk & cookies, or a bottle of wine and cheese, are worth the difference between my PAP rate and the rack rate (last trip the difference was about $130/night). Also, you now need to request turn down service for anything less than a suite (i.e., garden view, bay view, deluxe) at check in.
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Old 06-15-2004, 06:24 AM   #174
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Thanks for the info, Dave.
Turndown at check-in. Will they take a request for when they turndown like 5-8?
I don't think I'll go rack for a "Regional Surprise". Anything else that they have taken from the Loew's 1st? Still get a 3 hour late check out? Still get into the gym?

Dave,
I went up to a guy that looked just like you in front of the Mummy on the 21st. Of course Tigger had been removed but I asked if his name was Dave and he was a Joe. My kids made fun of me all night for asking. You got a brother named Joe that was drinking at Finnegan's that nght?
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Old 06-15-2004, 10:06 AM   #175
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I was told that they weren't honoring the late check out. It may different if you're a Gold member of Loews, but they don't offer it for the Blue level.
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Old 06-15-2004, 10:45 AM   #176
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Thanks CJ,
I'll have to ask my Loews 1st status at check-in. I have the Gold card but as explained by RyGuy I should go back to Blue at 1/1/04. When I made ressie, through Loews 1st, she said she was going to put me down as Platinum! Because of all my stays in the last year? I don't know.
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Old 06-15-2004, 09:43 PM   #177
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Motherfletcher;
No, I don't have a brother named Joe. We were at the AP event that Friday, but we avoided Mummy until around 9:15 because of the line. We did Shrek, then Jimmy, then Twister, then went over to Mummy. We rode it four times that night, and each time the line was shorter and shorter.
That Monday we did it five more times and it took less time for all five trips than the first time at the AP event due to our FOTL. We did spend quite some time at Finnegan's, but that was during Saturday's AP event, and again on Monday evening before regular close.
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Old 06-20-2004, 10:09 AM   #178
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Were we at the same PBH?

We just left friday morning. Our experience was fantastic. Sorry yours was so bad. I upgraded to club after we got there. $60 a night. I never saw the club too busy that you couldn't find a place to sit or that food ran out. We had 4 nights and and used it each day for breakfast and the evening cocktail hour and the the nightly cookies and milk ( which I thought was the cheapest of all their offerings) They had wines and bud, budlight and peroni beers along with the assorted cheeses and meats and crackers. We also used it for the sodas and coffee and bottled water through out the day. The staff worked very had to accomodate everyone. I know they were over booked and had to place others in other rooms, we stayed in 2240 with a great patio over looking the bacci ball court and the villa pool. The room is exactly the same as club level rooms. (that's what I was told) For the price we got our $ worth as we would eat breakfast around 9 and then my youngest would want to got back and take a nap, meds wipe her out, then grab waters and sodas on the way out around 11 ish and with the room key get to ride all the rides we wanted and then have an early diner and then enjoy the cocktail hour then hit the pool. I asked one of the ladies in the club about the welcoming gift and she looked us up and said we didn't qualify for it as we used the ENT rate, but then said it would be taken care of, when we got back to our room after swimming, a bottle of white and nuts were there and the beds turned down the rest of our stay with chocolates included. The place never seemed busy until thursday night when we looked out from the cocktail hour and saw the lines for the water taxi, that did not look good, but then we didn't have to use them. Again, sorry your stay wasn't as enjoyable as ours.

YO


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Old 06-22-2004, 08:39 PM   #179
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coachYO & my 3 girls

What did you mean by "I know they were over booked and had to place others in other rooms"? Do you mean other rooms at Portofino or other rooms elsehere?
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Old 06-22-2004, 09:19 PM   #180
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I'm sitting in the club lounge with my 2 kids and 2 club staffers. There has been several kids here this afternoon but they just brought out the 9 o'clock cookies and milk and no one is here to eat them but us!
We are watching 50 First Dates and playing on the computers.
This morning at 6 I got my son up and we went to the fitness center. I am surprised that this amenity has not made the reviews. The steam room is awesome and the sauna is nice as well. I kind of stumbled on the co-ed whirlpool which is a "must do". I know when I suggested the fitness center as an option to the in room bath facilities it was frowned upon based on the room cost but the spa is ten times as nice as the deluxe bathrooms on club level. The service and the facilities are nothing less than elegant. Six in the morning is the perfect time to have the place to yourself.
I have to go get some more of those macadamia cookies!
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