Just back, small review . . .

littlejewel

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 12, 2010
We just returned today from 6-nights at Royal Pacific with a 3-park, 4-day pass. Upon writing this review, I took into consideration that restaurants/hotels/theme parks, etc. are going through a major employee shortage. Did this affect our trip? Yes and no. So here are a few tips/reviews for those going to the parks this summer:

Service - everyone we encountered were so nice and working extra hard to meet the needs of guests. Service wasn’t always top notch, but some places were severely understaffed and this had an impact on timeliness, cleanliness, quality. Keep that in mind and try to be patient and understanding with staff😊

Crowds/Distancing/Masks- crazy busy, everywhere! Make dinner reservations if you can and I highly, highly, highly recommend Express Pass. Also, Universal is wide-open with very few wearing masks. If this may be a problem, I would recommend rescheduling your trip.

Hotel- Royal Pacific’s location can’t be beat! We used the ferry maybe two times the whole week and walked to/from the park the rest of the times. Ferry wait times were on the longer side (20ish minutes) and walking was a quick 7-8 min.jaunt along a quiet path. Overall, I wasn’t impressed by this resort for the price I payed. The rooms were small, the pool was just ok, we didn’t care for the food offerings(ate at Jakes, Bula Bar, and Tuk Tuk Mkt.), and there was no in-room housekeeping services at this time. I made our beds, took out the trash, cleaned the sink, etc. I’m not complaining, per se, but I probably overpaid for this resort and I work really hard throughout the year to have a week off from housekeeping. After visiting Portofino Bay one evening, I would recommend trying to stay there (beautiful resort!) or staying at Cabana and splurging for the Express Passes. We loved Cabana Bay so much more over RP.

Rides- Express Pass made our vacation seamless. We did all the rides more than once (except for a few one-and-dones), never waited more than 10 or so minutes, and loved this perk! It’s a must right now with the crowds! Hagrid’s never went to virtual, so I just set an alert on the Universal app to let me know if the ride went to 60 minutes. We ended up riding it three times during our trip and the line moved very quickly! Also, we only used Early Entry one morning. With Express Passes, we really didn’t need to be in any hurry to get up early.

Food/Beverage - We bought a few of the universal souvenir cups for refills. This was a waste of time and money. Machines never had ice and people were lined up in hoardes to fill their cups. Lines to get Icee’s were too long to be bothered with. I think all of this is due to employee shortages as most food and beverage kiosks were either closed or had one persons working. It was a mess! I don’t recommend getting these cups at this time. Instead, bring a refillable water bottle and fill up at water fountains or bring bottles of water into the parks. Also, we either had food reservations, ate early (11:00am), or went back to the hotel and ordered food to be delivered. Delivery was very efficient and cost effective. We had Chik-fil-a, Panda Express, and Marcos Pizza delivered at points throughout the week and the food was always fresh and deliveries were timely.

We really had a good time, but it did take more planning than usual for Universal. If you have any other questions, ask away! Thanks!
 

RocketCityMama

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
I agree with a lot of your comments. We did a 8.5 day trip and split stay between Dockside and Hard Rock. While the no housekeeping thing did not bother me too much, I was happy we could text and get items asap. I hope they keep that part!

Express passes were awesome and with how busy it was, I was super glad to have them. Agree about food and drink lines- probably the worst part of our trip. You could ride almost any ride in the park in the time it took to get food or just drinks. We had got 1 cup and planned to get 3 more but after seeing the lines we opted out and just bought some bottled drinks as we went or brought one with us from hotel.

I am hoping in Nov things will have gotten better in terms of hiring.
 

123SA

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Hmm...I have a 4 night stay at the Royal Pacific scheduled for August. I thought the rooms looked nicer than Portofino.

1. Is there a refrigerator in the room?
2. Is the bathroom sink/vanity in a separate area from the shower/toilet?
3. There will be 5 of us in that room...I was going to bring an air mattress instead of a rollaway. Are we going to be tripping over ourselves?

THanks for your help.
 

Lynne G

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
The rooms at Royal are smaller than Porto, and we have used a blow up bed at both. We just put the bed up along the wall when not in use. And I feel like Porto’s bathrooms are so much larger then Royal’s. I think the sink is in the same area as toilet and shower/tub.

But I will gladly stay at Royal, Porto, Hard Rock, and Safire, and use a blow up bed we bring with us, as my adult kids and I do not want to share beds.
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
Hmm...I have a 4 night stay at the Royal Pacific scheduled for August. I thought the rooms looked nicer than Portofino.

1. Is there a refrigerator in the room?
2. Is the bathroom sink/vanity in a separate area from the shower/toilet?
3. There will be 5 of us in that room...I was going to bring an air mattress instead of a rollaway. Are we going to be tripping over ourselves?

THanks for your help.
There are pictures of the sink/vanity area and room fridge in the first page of the RP sticky in the hotel board.

Standard rooms at RP can take a blow up mattress better than a rollaway, but it’ll still be tight-ish. For 4 nights, you’ll be fine.
 
  • schumigirl

    It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
    Joined
    May 15, 2007
    We just returned today from 6-nights at Royal Pacific with a 3-park, 4-day pass. Upon writing this review, I took into consideration that restaurants/hotels/theme parks, etc. are going through a major employee shortage. Did this affect our trip? Yes and no. So here are a few tips/reviews for those going to the parks this summer:

    Service - everyone we encountered were so nice and working extra hard to meet the needs of guests. Service wasn’t always top notch, but some places were severely understaffed and this had an impact on timeliness, cleanliness, quality. Keep that in mind and try to be patient and understanding with staff😊

    Crowds/Distancing/Masks- crazy busy, everywhere! Make dinner reservations if you can and I highly, highly, highly recommend Express Pass. Also, Universal is wide-open with very few wearing masks. If this may be a problem, I would recommend rescheduling your trip.

    Hotel- Royal Pacific’s location can’t be beat! We used the ferry maybe two times the whole week and walked to/from the park the rest of the times. Ferry wait times were on the longer side (20ish minutes) and walking was a quick 7-8 min.jaunt along a quiet path. Overall, I wasn’t impressed by this resort for the price I payed. The rooms were small, the pool was just ok, we didn’t care for the food offerings(ate at Jakes, Bula Bar, and Tuk Tuk Mkt.), and there was no in-room housekeeping services at this time. I made our beds, took out the trash, cleaned the sink, etc. I’m not complaining, per se, but I probably overpaid for this resort and I work really hard throughout the year to have a week off from housekeeping. After visiting Portofino Bay one evening, I would recommend trying to stay there (beautiful resort!) or staying at Cabana and splurging for the Express Passes. We loved Cabana Bay so much more over RP.

    Rides- Express Pass made our vacation seamless. We did all the rides more than once (except for a few one-and-dones), never waited more than 10 or so minutes, and loved this perk! It’s a must right now with the crowds! Hagrid’s never went to virtual, so I just set an alert on the Universal app to let me know if the ride went to 60 minutes. We ended up riding it three times during our trip and the line moved very quickly! Also, we only used Early Entry one morning. With Express Passes, we really didn’t need to be in any hurry to get up early.

    Food/Beverage - We bought a few of the universal souvenir cups for refills. This was a waste of time and money. Machines never had ice and people were lined up in hoardes to fill their cups. Lines to get Icee’s were too long to be bothered with. I think all of this is due to employee shortages as most food and beverage kiosks were either closed or had one persons working. It was a mess! I don’t recommend getting these cups at this time. Instead, bring a refillable water bottle and fill up at water fountains or bring bottles of water into the parks. Also, we either had food reservations, ate early (11:00am), or went back to the hotel and ordered food to be delivered. Delivery was very efficient and cost effective. We had Chik-fil-a, Panda Express, and Marcos Pizza delivered at points throughout the week and the food was always fresh and deliveries were timely.

    We really had a good time, but it did take more planning than usual for Universal. If you have any other questions, ask away! Thanks!
    Thank you for the review littlejewel……always good to hear others experiences in the hotels, parks and food options.
     

    Erica Ladd

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2018
    Thanks for the review! When ordering delivery did you go down to the lobby, out to the valet/parking or did they bring it to your room? How did you order? Directly or through a 3rd party? We may try this next time!
     
    Last edited:

    bchbetha

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2016
    Thanks! That was really helpful!
    I love Cabana Bay too but if going when it was busy, the top 3 hotels are cheaper than buying EPs for your crew. Today, if you wanted to buy EPs out of pocket they cost $299/ person (tomorrow the rate is $329 each). So, one day of EPs for a family of 4 would be $1200-- ouch! Add your hotel room on top of that and it's gotta be way more than RP, HR or PB costs.
     

    shh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2013
    Today, if you wanted to buy EPs out of pocket they cost $299/ person (tomorrow the rate is $329 each). So, one day of EPs for a family of 4 would be $1200-- ouch! Add your hotel room on top of that and it's gotta be way more than RP, HR or PB costs.
    I cannot wrap my head around those numbers for a few hours of expedited access. But maybe it's just me. (I will pony up whatever they ask this year for HHN express though lol.)
     
  • littlejewel

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 12, 2010
    Hmm...I have a 4 night stay at the Royal Pacific scheduled for August. I thought the rooms looked nicer than Portofino.

    1. Is there a refrigerator in the room?
    2. Is the bathroom sink/vanity in a separate area from the shower/toilet?
    3. There will be 5 of us in that room...I was going to bring an air mattress instead of a rollaway. Are we going to be tripping over ourselves?

    THanks for your help.
    1. Yes, there is a fridge
    2. Toilet and shower are in a separate room
    3. You will be cramped. And the area for the toilet/shower is tiny as well as the area where the sink is. Hope this helps!
     

    cschaaf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2013
    That sucks about the refillable cups - we're big fans. The ice is always a challenge, though. At many machines, you have to shove the ice out of the way just to get your cup in the receiver.
     

    Kit Jackson

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 2, 2014
    Hagrid’s never went to virtual, so I just set an alert on the Universal app to let me know if the ride went to 60 minutes.
    I have never heard about this alert feature on the Universal App. I would love to know more about this feature. Could you please explain where to find it/how it works?

    Thank you for your time.
     

    RocketCityMama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2009
    I have never heard about this alert feature on the Universal App. I would love to know more about this feature. Could you please explain where to find it/how it works?

    Thank you for your time.
    When you click on the rides, and wait times, then the specific ride, there is a wait time alert link -click it and then select the time you want to be notified (30 mins, 50 mins etc) and you'll get notification that the ride is at that wait time. Just fyi, once it happens, the link resets, so if don't make it then, you'll need to reset it to notify you again.
     

    siggyg

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2021
    We just got back from trip to Universal as well. The whole food situation was atrocious. Lines were terrible everywhere. We ate lunch at the Burger Dig at Islands of Adventure one day and we waited about an hour for a table, could only order after we were seated since we had a dining plan for the day (others in line were being told they had to put in mobile orders), and then waited another 30-40 minutes for our food. Thankfully we had a backpack full of snacks to keep the kids from starving.

    I don't know why they are making everyone wait to be seated before processing mobile orders or why the app can't handle dining plans. Prepare my food, let me get it, and then either grab a table or find someplace outside to sit. It's so inefficient. There were also folks that bypassed the line and just sat down at tables that had just been vacated with no employees noticing. I much prefer Disney's approach to mobile order pickups. We had a car so we just left and ate offsite and came back later in the day on most other days. Saved money that way, too.

    Regarding the Freestyle cups, I found it difficult to get it reactivated each day. Maybe I waited too long to do it one of the days, but I waited in one line for 20 min, got to the front, and then was told their device to reactivate the cup was broken. I was pointed to a couple other kiosks with lines that were at least as long as the one I was just in. I wasn't going to spend and hour trying to reactivate the cup. I gave up in frustration that day. Give me the number of the RFID chip or whatever is in the cup so I can activate it online or via app. There's no reason to have to wait in line to do this.

    We had a great time overall, but the food experience left a bad taste in my mouth.
     

    bchbetha

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2016
    We just got back from trip to Universal as well. The whole food situation was atrocious. Lines were terrible everywhere. We ate lunch at the Burger Dig at Islands of Adventure one day and we waited about an hour for a table, could only order after we were seated since we had a dining plan for the day (others in line were being told they had to put in mobile orders), and then waited another 30-40 minutes for our food. Thankfully we had a backpack full of snacks to keep the kids from starving.

    I don't know why they are making everyone wait to be seated before processing mobile orders or why the app can't handle dining plans. Prepare my food, let me get it, and then either grab a table or find someplace outside to sit. It's so inefficient. There were also folks that bypassed the line and just sat down at tables that had just been vacated with no employees noticing. I much prefer Disney's approach to mobile order pickups. We had a car so we just left and ate offsite and came back later in the day on most other days. Saved money that way, too.

    Regarding the Freestyle cups, I found it difficult to get it reactivated each day. Maybe I waited too long to do it one of the days, but I waited in one line for 20 min, got to the front, and then was told their device to reactivate the cup was broken. I was pointed to a couple other kiosks with lines that were at least as long as the one I was just in. I wasn't going to spend and hour trying to reactivate the cup. I gave up in frustration that day. Give me the number of the RFID chip or whatever is in the cup so I can activate it online or via app. There's no reason to have to wait in line to do this.

    We had a great time overall, but the food experience left a bad taste in my mouth.
    Is it any better at Disney at the moment? Staffing is the biggest hurdle I have been hearing.
    I'd rather have a table than be holding a tray of food and looking for a table, especially if people at the tables are just holding tables and not eating. Having a take out option in the app would be useful though. But, I assume people would take advantage and use that to skirt the table wait.
     

    mamapenguin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2006
    We just got back from trip to Universal as well. The whole food situation was atrocious. Lines were terrible everywhere. We ate lunch at the Burger Dig at Islands of Adventure one day and we waited about an hour for a table, could only order after we were seated since we had a dining plan for the day (others in line were being told they had to put in mobile orders), and then waited another 30-40 minutes for our food. Thankfully we had a backpack full of snacks to keep the kids from starving.

    I don't know why they are making everyone wait to be seated before processing mobile orders or why the app can't handle dining plans. Prepare my food, let me get it, and then either grab a table or find someplace outside to sit. It's so inefficient. There were also folks that bypassed the line and just sat down at tables that had just been vacated with no employees noticing. I much prefer Disney's approach to mobile order pickups. We had a car so we just left and ate offsite and came back later in the day on most other days. Saved money that way, too.

    Regarding the Freestyle cups, I found it difficult to get it reactivated each day. Maybe I waited too long to do it one of the days, but I waited in one line for 20 min, got to the front, and then was told their device to reactivate the cup was broken. I was pointed to a couple other kiosks with lines that were at least as long as the one I was just in. I wasn't going to spend and hour trying to reactivate the cup. I gave up in frustration that day. Give me the number of the RFID chip or whatever is in the cup so I can activate it online or via app. There's no reason to have to wait in line to do this.

    We had a great time overall, but the food experience left a bad taste in my mouth.
    Thank you for sharing. I sure hope they get this figured out soon, we will be there in 5 weeks. I also wanted to ask if you stayed on-site? I’m wondering how the food options are doing at the hotels as far as wait times.
     

    TwoMisfits

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2002
    We just got back from trip to Universal as well. The whole food situation was atrocious. Lines were terrible everywhere. We ate lunch at the Burger Dig at Islands of Adventure one day and we waited about an hour for a table, could only order after we were seated since we had a dining plan for the day (others in line were being told they had to put in mobile orders), and then waited another 30-40 minutes for our food. Thankfully we had a backpack full of snacks to keep the kids from starving.

    I don't know why they are making everyone wait to be seated before processing mobile orders or why the app can't handle dining plans. Prepare my food, let me get it, and then either grab a table or find someplace outside to sit. It's so inefficient. There were also folks that bypassed the line and just sat down at tables that had just been vacated with no employees noticing. I much prefer Disney's approach to mobile order pickups. We had a car so we just left and ate offsite and came back later in the day on most other days. Saved money that way, too.

    Regarding the Freestyle cups, I found it difficult to get it reactivated each day. Maybe I waited too long to do it one of the days, but I waited in one line for 20 min, got to the front, and then was told their device to reactivate the cup was broken. I was pointed to a couple other kiosks with lines that were at least as long as the one I was just in. I wasn't going to spend and hour trying to reactivate the cup. I gave up in frustration that day. Give me the number of the RFID chip or whatever is in the cup so I can activate it online or via app. There's no reason to have to wait in line to do this.

    We had a great time overall, but the food experience left a bad taste in my mouth.
    Yeah, I noticed the inefficiency of the counter service dining plan when I was there, too. I would suggest no one get it right now, b/c you have to order at the cashier with the allergy folks...and they don't have many cashiers...so, allergy folks are used to waiting the extra 20-40 minutes, but I doubt dining plan people want to join that group (and thereby make it longer for both)...
     


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