New York or Orlando?? Heck, let`s do both.....12 nights NYC & Sapphire Falls...July 18 Trip Report

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by schumigirl, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    A very warm welcome to anyone who has stumbled across another ramble along from me about our recent trip to the wonderful USA.

    We`ve been back less than a week from our last trip, so time to get this one going...although I`m wondering how I`m going to fill a trip report ...as our plan was to do as little as possible on this trip except sip as much champagne as possible and chill out...…..best laid plans and all that...…:rotfl:

    In case there is anyone out there who doesn't know who we are from previous trip reports, we are Carole"n"Tom…...so called as we are genuinely joined at the hip!!!!

    I`m reliably informed that I don't put enough personal info in the trip reports I write.....but, it`s a trip report and not a life story of my real life....now that would be boring!!!!

    But this trip came about for a few reasons...…..


    So, last August Tom took early retirement, well, he made the decision earlier but Aug 1st was his first full day after 42 years......quite a shock within his company......but, we didn't want him burned out.....so we are now celebrating a year of freedom. Although he had hardly been in during the previous couple of months before his actual finishing date......best decision ever!!!! I would recommend early retirement for anyone who is in the position to do it....I can`t believe how quickly this year has gone past.

    I`m in the lovely position of being what I still like to call a stay at home mum...…..yes our son is 24 and working full time, but I left working life a long time ago and have no intentions of going back into that world again. I did have a couple of lovely jobs, but the freedom not working gives you is much better. I always seem to fill my time with one thing and another and keep busy with many social events and some hobbies...….mainly travelling to the USA this year!!!!

    I love writing and spend a lot of time doing that and I try to read...….I adore books and have far too many according to my husband who admittedly doesn't read enough....unless it`s about cars of course!!! But, for those that think women who don't work end up watching tv all day and drinking coffee, they couldn't be more wrong. And now both of us have officially retired......it is so much better....

    Kyle is doing great...…..I appreciate all those who have sent PM`s asking about him over the last few years...…..he will be with us on the December trip this year...….although he has 6 weeks vacation a year with his job, he has plans for the rest of the year so we booked a 10 night stay at RP then, which causes him to use 13 days allocation with overnight stay and 2 days to get over a night flight back to the UK. Looking forward to getting him back to Orlando with us again. He is enjoying the world of finance and his company are thrilled with him. He`s happy :hug:


    In 2017 we had an immediate celebration trip after his retirement with our September adventures to NYC and Orlando...then we had the week long trip in December, followed by two 10 day trips in March and May this year......but, when we looked at our calendar, July looked a little empty!



    So after coming back from our September/October trip last year....we put together a little 5 night trip to NYC. We thought we must be crazy.....NYC in the summer with all the noise and crowds that it brings......but we thought oh what the heck let`s just book it...….Anyone who knows me will know I had the flights booked before I could blink!!!

    We looked at our two options......and eventually booked Thomas Cook again as the Virgin Flight had no Premium seats available, and we do like Premium where possible...….it`s a long flight and those seats get a little uncomfortable after several hours......so Premium can be better.....not always though...…...but we hope for the best.

    The cabin is quite small and does feel quieter...…..of course if you get noisy people or noisy kids it`s not so quiet......but, it`s the luck of the draw. Seats are wider and there is decent leg room between rows which even though I`m only around 5 foot 7 (ish) :blush: I like the legroom...…..as does my 6 foot tall husband.

    You get extra luggage allowance which is always ideal, and a welcome glass of sparkling wine as you enter the cabin. Food is more or less the same, but always been decent with them. It`s airplane food at the end of the day, all drinks are free, but in the grand scale it`s not a big difference ...…..you are also first to board and first off the plane which is nice.



    [​IMG]


    I managed to get flights with Premium both ways for just under $2,400...…...I mention price as it had been asked how much we pay for flights......yes, of course you can go cheaper, and more expensive too, but when we were booking this was the price and we wanted those dates. We chose our seats and paid for the flights there and then. We were happy with that cost.

    Next was an easy decision...…..our hotel in NYC.

    Last year we had stayed in the beautiful Lotte New York Palace...…..


    [​IMG]

    We had loved our stay there and always said we would go back if we ever went back to NYC......it`s a classic hotel with old fashioned style and a nod back to a time gone by with some of the décor and classic service......it has a stunning lobby and the stairs scream elegance. It is located very conveniently on Madison Avenue and is in a prime position to get to many popular places easily, very central.

    When we were there we saw an area to the side of the main lobby called The Towers. We knew when we came back we would be booking a stay in The Towers.

    It`s still the same hotel, but with added extras...…..just what we unashamedly like...…..it has it`s own separate check in area which, nice as the main lobby is, this is just beautiful...…..very personal service. The rooms for the Towers all start on the 41st floor and above and are slightly better appointed than the general rooms, although I have to say I loved our room last year...….it was beautiful and very large as we booked a corner room. We did think the bathroom was slightly dated with the shower over the bath, we prefer the walk in shower style.

    But, we called them as the website had around 84 prices for different rooms, so it was just easier to call and clarify what we were paying for. They were lovely and saw we had stayed before, and very easily we were booked for 5 nights in The Towers. Our requests were simple, we asked for a view of St Patrick`s Cathedral again and the highest floor possible.

    She also asked if we wanted to take advantage of the Maitre D`Etage……..basically a private Butler service who would unpack our suitcases, hang everything up and deal with any laundry requirements within reason, they also repack your clothes on departing the hotel...…..I thought about it for a millisecond and declined their kind offer...…...prefer to handle our own "delicates"...…..::yes::

    We got our confirmation through immediately...…..we were sorted!!!!

    And the added bonus of no rental car this time!!!! In Orlando we always have a car as we like to roam around the state and see all the other things that Florida has to offer...….well, as many as we can....but this trip...….I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to rent a car in the City...….walking is king for us there......with the occasional cab. I`m not ashamed to admit the Subway although marvelous, is not my favourite place to be. And I would rather pay for an overpriced cab than venture down there...….it really is the simplest and quickest way to get around, and I have done it...….but would rather not.

    Our travel insurance was still valid so we didn't have to renew that for this trip. Getting a years policy was proving to be well worth the immediate cost, which considering it covers the three of us for as many trips as we can manage, it really was a bargain.

    So, with our New York trip set...…….you may wonder how come we ended up going to Orlando too..:scratchin

    Well, isn't there always a story!!!!

    Neither Tom or I had mentioned adding on Orlando since we booked NY, but it had been swirling around my tiny little brain in the background all winter...…..turns out Tom had been thinking the same.....

    But, Fast Forward to our May trip which was our first stay at Sapphire Falls...…..if you have read the previous trip report you`ll know how much we love that resort...…..as long term RP guests we now have the pleasure of spending time at both resorts over the year. Of course we had spent many an evening in the wonderful StrongWater Bar so we know how fabulous the resort is...….

    Our friend took us up to our room which was The Sapphire Suite and was absolutely beautiful......we were loving this resort already...…..so, we both knew what the other was thinking straight away :idea:...….we looked at each other and nodded.........unspoken words at their best........so we asked him if we could book 7 nights in July at Sapphire and tag it on to our NY trip. Not a problem.

    Things were falling into place...…..once we were settled, I got online to JetBlue and booked flights from JFK down to MCO...….isn't the internet wonderful...…..:thumbsup2 We got the Extra Space Seats we like and we had luggage included in that......I did wonder if we would be overweight with our suitcases.....I would worry about that in July!!! I often wonder how folks manage with hand luggage only for long trips...….although when you see the size of some people`s hand luggage that they try and cram into the overhead bins that's how they manage it...….some of those bags are huge!!!! And causes some trouble on occasion from others who can`t get their regular sized hand luggage in after theirs!!! Seen that many times...…..:sad2: Nope, I like to have a good choice of clothes and like plenty of room for all our purchases.....

    So, 2 one way flights from MCO to JFK for $500 which we were again happy with...…..although I`m told I could be doing with taking some advice for finding cheap fares down to Orlando...………:rolleyes1 Our flight would leave JFK at 10am, so we would be in Orlando around 1pm allowing for delays of any kind. Much better than arriving after a 9 hour flight with everything that entails of being at the airport a few hours before.

    We had to wait till we got home to amend our flights with Thomas Cook. Instead of flying out of JFK on the 18th, we would be flying home from MCO on the 25th. I checked and there were Premium seats available. Of course we hoped they would still be available in 11 days time...…..

    And they were. Soon as we got up the day after we got home I called them and amended the return flights. There was an admin charge of around $130 to change the flight and the payment of the extra cost for the flights themselves. I really can`t remember the difference, but it wasn't too bad.

    Now, of course we had to arrange a rental car...….this was easy. We use Alamo and book directly with them now as we have found them to be very helpful when you need to contact them for anything and the price was reasonable.

    We usually book a standard SUV, and hope it`s at least something decent...…...this time we booked a Premium SUV...... $650 for 7 days. We didn't realize at this point just how happy we would be with the car we ended up with!!!!

    Kyle laughed when we told him we were adding another 7 nights to this July trip...….he had already guessed we would.....he knows us so well :D

    We both just thought it seemed silly to be so close to Orlando as we were in NYC and not fly down for a cheeky week of not doing much at all. And that really was the plan......a lazy do nothing 7 days of just enjoying a little park time, a little driving around and some time enjoying the resort and all it has to offer...…...

    We did have the memory of trying this trip last year, we ended up flying down 2 days later due to Irma and all the issues that caused. This time we hoped for no storms or interferences.

    If you are still reading...….I hope you enjoy this one...…...

     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
    Zosha, lebeau, Cuchman and 13 others like this.
  2. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    89,036
    Woot!!


    The new trip report begins!

    Count me in to follow along
     
    schumigirl likes this.
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421
    :welcome: :welcome: :welcome: :welcome: :welcome:

    As you are first :thumbsup2...….you get an extra special :welcome:

    Glad you`ll be along for the read as always...…...:wave2:
     
    macraven likes this.
  5. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    4,012
    Following along, too!:)
     
    schumigirl likes this.
  6. J'aime Paris

    J'aime Paris Living happily ever after

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,529
    Wow, Macraven is fast!
    Happily following along for the newest adventure!
     
    schumigirl likes this.
  7. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    89,036
    Sometimes I am in the right place at the right time

    Just call me lucky :laughing:



    (Being a moderator, I look through all current threads/forums frequently during the day and saw Schumi’s by chance )
     
    Robo56, schumigirl and J'aime Paris like this.
  8. angryduck71

    angryduck71 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    853
    Shhh.... don't tell anyone, but for the first time in forever, I finished my to-do list at work and was bored - and yay! Here you are! I'm about to get slammed again I think today at work and I am taking tomorrow off (my boyfriend is building me shelves to house the new Luke Skywalkers I bought for myself for my birthday -- lol!), but will certainly make time to read your report!
     
    schumigirl likes this.
  9. Tgrgrl

    Tgrgrl Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    162
    I’m here!!! Write away........
     
    schumigirl likes this.
  10. tammy

    tammy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1999
    Messages:
    644
    Yay!! Another report...can't wait!!
     
    schumigirl likes this.
  11. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421
    :welcome: Patty...……

    Nice to have you along for this one too...….:)
     
  12. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421
    She was quick wasn't she...…..::yes::

    :welcome: back...….I`m so glad to see you post here too...….nice to have you along, and as always I hope you enjoy it...…..:wave2:
     
    J'aime Paris likes this.
  13. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421
    Lucky!!! LOL...…..

    I like being in the right place at the right time...…..it does happen occasionally...…..:thumbsup2
     
  14. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421
    :welcome: to my good buddy Alice!!!!

    Fab you`re here...…...and yes, I can keep a secret...……:D I`ll keep it down!!!

    You are funny...…..you have Luke Skywalkers on shelves...…….:rotfl: I hope he doesn't distract you too much...…..

    Belated :bday:……...you kept that quiet!!!! Or did I miss it...…..

    Enjoy...….but if you get distracted I`ll forgive you...…...:wave2:
     
    angryduck71 likes this.
  15. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421
    Another warm :welcome: to tgrgrl………

    Nice to have you in from the beginning of this one...….hope it`s fun for you...…..:D
     
  16. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421
    YAY!!!!

    :welcome: to tammy...……

    Thanks so much for reading along with this one too...…..I`m a little worried I haven't much to write about...……:blush: But I`m sure I`ll find something...….:wave2:
     
    tammy likes this.
  17. Owlpost23

    Owlpost23 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    926
    So happy to see another wonderful report,Carole! Looking forward to it!
     
  18. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421
    And another warm :welcome: back to a very welcome friend...…..

    So nice to see you again...….and I truly hope this one is another good read...…..I`m going to try and finish this one in record time, so it`s not dragging on...….if I can of course...….best laid plans!!!!!

    :wave2:
     
    Owlpost23 likes this.
  19. tink1957

    tink1957 Proud Redhead

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    3,144
    I'm late to the party as usual party:
    Glad I didn't miss the cocktail hour.

    Looking forward to reading about your latest travels.

    And I didn't know that Tom retired on my birthday...we share an anniversary of sorts :cool1:
     
    schumigirl likes this.
  20. angryduck71

    angryduck71 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    853
    Haha! It's only once a year a gal turns 29 again! ;) I don't have Luke Skywalkers on shelves YET! But, hopefully will tomorrow and will send you (Tom) pics!
     
    schumigirl likes this.
  21. Lstar311

    Lstar311 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    387
    I'm following along as well!
     
    schumigirl likes this.

Share This Page