Space, perk or budget. I cant decide!

mommymanda

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
My family is planning a late August trip. Two adults, three kids 19, 13, 11.

I cannot make a decision of a resort.

I like the idea of Portofino Club...but not certain I'll like the smaller space. Nor am I sure We'd actually save a ton using the club perks.

Than there are Royal Pacific kid suite. Gives us the space, but close to the Portofino pricing, minus the club perks.

And since we are not desperate for EPs. Late August, 5park days, we will survive.

I can keep my budget down with a Cabana Bay family suite.

Lol I refuse to research the Endless Summer as I'd probably get more confused.

I know this is all a matter of each person's preference, but any tips absolute for or against to help me choose?

Oh we are not interested in split stay. If we pick a room, we will be there the week. My family are messy traveller's and I don't want to deal with the unpack/pack up twice 😀
 

PixieT78

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
I agree that I'm not sure the club perks are worth the additional price. That's coming from someone who has never stayed club level, to be fair, but I personally just don't feel we would get our money's worth on it. Booze would be the biggest savings for us but we could just go get that ourselves for the room. I do think that Portfino has the biggest rooms of the 3 premium hotels, but if you are looking at just one room, I feel like your kids might be too old for that :)

For me, express passes are always worth it, but a lot of that is how it fits our park touring style - we like pool time so that gives us a good balance between riding lots of rides and also relaxing by the pool. 5 days is lots of time for Universal though so you would likely be ok. But for me, I'd go with the RP kid suite (but maybe make sure your kids fit on the beds lol - I'm not sure if they are shorter than regular beds?).

I love the theming of Cabana Bay. It's a quirky resort and the bus service was great for the one night we stayed there. It is also closer to Volcano Bay if that is something your family is interested in. If you don't feel you need the Express Passes, I think this is the one I'd go for.

(Your reasoning for not wanting a split stay made me LOL)
 

cfoxga

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Our first trip was a family suite at CB for 4 nights. Two adults and two kids (8 and 10 at the time). We had a blast, but we had to go in early every day to avoid the crowds since we did not have EPs.

All 4 trips since then have been to the deluxe resorts. Total game changer. EPs mean much shorter lines. Close proximity to the parks means easy returns for a mid-afternoon nap/swim. Nicer rooms with better soundproofing and more comfortable beds are a nice plus. The rooms usually run about $125/night more than the CB family suite for APH rates, and I think we easily get or monies worth out of that.

Keep in mind that the regular PBH room is actually bigger than the CB family suite (450 vs 430 sq ft). It just doesn't have the pullout sofa, so you'd need a roll-away for the 5th person.

I know you didn't want to add Endless Summer, but we did stay in ESS a couple of nights in a 2 BR unit. The separate bedroom and 3rd bed were nice, and the hotel is much newer than CB.
 

Pooh's World

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
My family is planning a late August trip. Two adults, three kids 19, 13, 11.

I cannot make a decision of a resort.

I like the idea of Portofino Club...but not certain I'll like the smaller space. Nor am I sure We'd actually save a ton using the club perks.

Than there are Royal Pacific kid suite. Gives us the space, but close to the Portofino pricing, minus the club perks.

And since we are not desperate for EPs. Late August, 5park days, we will survive.

I can keep my budget down with a Cabana Bay family suite.

Lol I refuse to research the Endless Summer as I'd probably get more confused.

I know this is all a matter of each person's preference, but any tips absolute for or against to help me choose?

Oh we are not interested in split stay. If we pick a room, we will be there the week. My family are messy traveller's and I don't want to deal with the unpack/pack up twice 😀
Is money an issue?
 

DL1WDW2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
You def want the Cabana Bay with that age group. I love thefamily suite Pool preferred view interior entry and always book that…
This room has a small kitchen upon entry and a mini bar that separates the living room and then a room divider half wall with a sliding door that separates the 2 beds and a big window with great room darkening curtains. Plus a divided bathroom one side has the toilet and the other bath/shower and sink, and in the middle is another sink with mirror.
Also has a big closet for hanging clothes and suitcases. And 2 TVs …
Great for families and Wish DVC would copy this floor plan .
Anyway the lobby area has a really nice Starbucks and a really nice cafeteria with huge screens. similar to sitting at the drive in movie and they play 50s commercials , etc. And the music is played in background of lobby from that era. I really love their music and especially the holiday vintage music. They even have vintage VO5 shampoo bottles… You know what that is if you grew up in the 50s and 60s Haha. I’m surprised they don’t sell Brylcreme a little dab will do ya!
I am constantly checking for discounts for any excuse to stay here !
I love to take the Universal water taxi transport based at CityWalk. I will go to the Hard Rock. love the daily brunch at the Kitchen and ask about AP or AAA discounts. Also Sals deli at Portofino has great pizza ( another boat or walk ) and VooDoo Donuts at CityWalk…. So tempting as their covered display of every donut goes round and round as you wait in line. Also love the Today Cafe just inside Universal Studios as you wait for first showing of the incredible Bourne Stunt Show…The technological presentation of this with a few live stunt actors is amazing and you will be astonished! Do Not Miss this show!
 
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mommymanda

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
But for me, I'd go with the RP kid suite (but maybe make sure your kids fit on the beds lol - I'm not sure if they are shorter than regular beds?).
I will look into that. We've all squished in a cruise ship room. We also have a small 17 foot bunkhouse trailer and they fit. Lol hence why space is one of my priorities for this vacation. My younger two keep growing, and pretty sure they will both be taller than me by the time this trip happens. So if beds are toddler size not twin, won't work.

Is money an issue?
That depends on the day. Being in Canada we've lost two trips and I'm desperate to travel. Knowing I have another year to save has me thinking even Portofino Club is manageable. Than other days I take a reality check and think I should just stick with CB and find deals 😀.

I know you didn't want to add Endless Summer, but we did stay in ESS a couple of nights in a 2 BR unit. The separate bedroom and 3rd bed were nice, and the hotel is much newer than CB.
I may look...I wish the 2 room suites at CB were lower priced. 2 rooms AND 2 bathrooms. Our fave stay ever was the AOA family suite layout. Connected rooms anywhere end up being too much.
 
  • georgina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    I will look into that. We've all squished in a cruise ship room. We also have a small 17 foot bunkhouse trailer and they fit. Lol hence why space is one of my priorities for this vacation. My younger two keep growing, and pretty sure they will both be taller than me by the time this trip happens. So if beds are toddler size not twin, won't work.



    That depends on the day. Being in Canada we've lost two trips and I'm desperate to travel. Knowing I have another year to save has me thinking even Portofino Club is manageable. Than other days I take a reality check and think I should just stick with CB and find deals 😀.



    I may look...I wish the 2 room suites at CB were lower priced. 2 rooms AND 2 bathrooms. Our fave stay ever was the AOA family suite layout. Connected rooms anywhere end up being too much.
    I may have missed it reading the other replies - with 5 park days, have you looked at annual pass room rates? Could potentially save you quite a bit (both on room and tickets). Maybe enough to get 2 rooms at CB. I see late August rooms for $104+tax per room, family suites from $124.

     
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    mommymanda

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2012
    I may have missed it reading the other replies - with 5 park days, have you looked at annual pass room rates? Could potentially save you quite a bit (both on room and tickets). Maybe enough to get 2 rooms at CB. I see late August rooms for $104+tax per room, family suites from $124.

    I started looking into APs, but honestly have no idea where to start. It does seem we could save $$$. I'm just not sure where to start or if it's worth the stress. I will add it to my research list again.
     

    georgina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    I started looking into APs, but honestly have no idea where to start. It does seem we could save $$$. I'm just not sure where to start or if it's worth the stress. I will add it to my research list again.
    It shouldn't be too much stress. People here are very helpful! The lowest cost is a seasonal AP, which if you are going in August is good for both IOA and US. If you want to add Volcano Bay water park, that level of pass is blocked out for VB until after August 15, so you would be fine after that date. The cost of a seasonal AP should be less than or comparable to a 5 day ticket. And if AP resort rates are available, it will save you a lot there. Just try putting your dates in the link I posted above and see what pops up. You can book an AP room rate and buy the pass later, or it is fully cancelable if your plans change.
     

    mommymanda

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2012
    It shouldn't be too much stress. People here are very helpful! The lowest cost is a seasonal AP, which if you are going in August is good for both IOA and US. If you want to add Volcano Bay water park, that level of pass is blocked out for VB until after August 15, so you would be fine after that date. The cost of a seasonal AP should be less than or comparable to a 5 day ticket. And if AP resort rates are available, it will save you a lot there. Just try putting your dates in the link I posted above and see what pops up. You can book an AP room rate and buy the pass later, or it is fully cancelable if your plans change.
    Lmao my dates are not in the system yet...but I put in for this year. Now Another option on my list! Of course only if I go the AP route. Off to dig out more info.Screenshot_20210723-064611_Samsung Internet.jpgScreenshot_20210723-064611_Samsung Internet.jpg
     
  • georgina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Lmao my dates are not in the system yet...but I put in for this year. Now Another option on my list! Of course only if I go the AP route. Off to dig out more info.View attachment 591551View attachment 591551
    OH. Missed you are talking 2022. You will likely want to book something before the AP rates come out anyway. You do only need one AP per room if you book with the discount later on.
     

    Cadiewampus

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 14, 2008
    I would look at getting Two Cabana Bay connecting rooms. We did that a few years ago and it worked out great. My wife and I in one room and two sons and and oldest ones girlfriend (now wife) in the other. Kept the door open during the day and it was like having a big suite.
     

    mvansear

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2006
    For my family of 5 (with 3 adults now) We LOVE LOVE the express pass and the club... won't go without them Here is a great post from Cfoxga about AP and the perks https://www.disboards.com/threads/how-i-plan-a-universal-trip.3794121/ And here is a post from our May trip regarding club food at HZard Rock hotel with pictures https://www.disboards.com/threads/universal-hard-rock-club-level-food-covid.3821892/#post-62781099 Food offerings will be different w/o COVID and fingers crossed that will not be an issue for you in 2022
     

    jdrum3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 6, 2010
    You've probably made up your mind by now, but here is my take as we have 2 kids boy/girl 17/14. Sleeping in same bed is a no-go for these two, so last fall, we went Cabana route. We had previously stayed at RP with express. Next we went in November and gave them the choice of Cabana, own bed, or RP with Express and taking turns on an air mattress. They went for RP and the air mattress switchout. It is super personal and different to each family how you vacay, but these were our conclusions.
    1)The sleeper sofa at Cabana is super uncomfy for teens and older. (air mattress way more comfy)
    2)The Express makes it more of a vacay for us grown-ups and teens who like to sleep. You're not really super concerned about early park, so personally if I can ever make a rezzie with express, it is a priority unless really low crowd times.
    Our next trip is October, unfortunately it's same week it was last year, which was pretty busy with Columbus weekend and I guess a bunch of school fall breaks at the same time. So, we made a 2-night res with Portofino for 3 full days of Express, but going to stay at Dockside the first night.
     

    OrlandoGirl357

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 22, 2020
    Have you considered a Deluxe 2 queen room at Hard Rock Hotel? They are 500 square feet, and come with 2 queen beds and a pullout sofa. You won't need to go the rollaway route or air mattress with the sofa bed. And these rooms have 4 chairs in addition to a couch, so plenty of space to sit down. The room is also cheaper than either a club level room at Portofino or a kids suite at Royal Pacific Resort. Also, Hard Rock Hotel is super close to the entrance to Universal Studios.


    I have stayed at the Jurassic World Kids Suite. The kids beds are twin sized, and you would need a rollaway or use the sofa that I think is in the room. I slept on the rollaway on that trip. I'm only 5-4, but the rollaway felt pretty small.
     

    mommymanda

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2012
    Have you considered a Deluxe 2 queen room at Hard Rock Hotel? They are 500 square feet, and come with 2 queen beds and a pullout sofa. You won't need to go the rollaway route or air mattress with the sofa bed. And these rooms have 4 chairs in addition to a couch, so plenty of space to sit down. The room is also cheaper than either a club level room at Portofino or a kids suite at Royal Pacific Resort. Also, Hard Rock Hotel is super close to the entrance to Universal Studios.


    I have stayed at the Jurassic World Kids Suite. The kids beds are twin sized, and you would need a rollaway or use the sofa that I think is in the room. I slept on the rollaway on that trip. I'm only 5-4, but the rollaway felt pretty small.
    No, I did not realize this for HRH...I thought the rooms were smaller/more cramped so skipped over it.
     

    mvansear

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2006
    No, I did not realize this for HRH...I thought the rooms were smaller/more cramped so skipped over it.
    They also have the queen deluxe at HR on the club level but you can’t book those outright… just have to ask at check in. When we went in May we got the upgrade to queen deluxe on club level and there was no additional charge. Went with high hopes and an air mattress just in case
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    IMO, RPR is the best option of the three. I agree with PPs that I'm not sure club level is the best value, especially if you're spending the bulk of your time at the parks. I know we'd never be around to take advantage of it. Plus, RPR is the closest walk of the three options and still gives you the space you want.
     


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