Monday, July 20, 2015

July 7, 2015 - Land/Sea Trip - Universal Studios/Freedom of the Seas!

We planned and booked this trip in February after I had completed three of my four chemotherapy treatments. I wanted to have a two part trip planned that would start with a lot of fun and physical activity and then end with fun and relaxation! Easy peasy choice - Universal Studios Orlando followed by a Royal Caribbean cruise! We love theme parks and I hope I never lose the excitement of being dropped over a ledge of water! lol
We checked into the Royal Pacific Resort and was assigned to a newly renovated room with a magnificent view of the pool! The bellhop immediately took our luggage and escorted us to our room. The bedding was new, luxurious and so comfortable after long days at the parks! The bathroom included a new and beautiful walk-in shower with a generous supply of spa quality shampoo, conditioner, shower gels, soaps, lotions and big fluffy thick towels! The smells were mesmerizing at shower time! The toiletries were part of the "my private ocean" collection. The room also came equipped with a Keurig coffee maker with a plentiful supply of coffee and tea which we enjoyed each morning before beginning our daily marathon through the parks! lol
We quickly unpacked and headed to the kiosk in the lobby to collect our tickets and get to the parks! Our tickets included FOTL which is front of the line and one of the many perks of staying in one of the three resorts located on the grounds of the parks. It is a very short and shaded walk around the lake to the parks which makes it very convenient especially when traveling with children. There are also water taxis available and pedicabs for transportation to and from the parks and Citywalk. We did a combination of all three and never waited more than a couple of minutes. We were very satisfied with their great service. Staying on the grounds, having FOTL and having immediate transportation at our fingertips made it so convenient to visit the parks! It is so worth the extra money! You can't put a price on a fun and well planned theme park trip! 
 The Royal Pacific has a South Seas theme and we felt like we were in a tropical paradise! The grounds were beautiful and well manicured. It was fun to just "walk and look!"
This was our beautiful view from the water taxi but at night the view turned magnificent with the addition of special lighting from a nightly overhead fireworks display! 
This is our ramp to the water taxi. The taxis run continuously until 2 am daily and we had very minimal wait times if any.
This is day one and we chose to take the short walkway to the parks. As you can see, it is shaded and landscaped so well with shrubbery and various blooming flowers. I had bought these hats for the girls at the REI online outlet store. They are great lightweight hats that kept the sun out of the girls eyes and off of their faces. They chose to wear tee shirts so they only had to put sunscreen on face, forearms and legs. No time for sunburns or sunscreen fights! lol. 
One quick swipe and we are on our way into the Islands of Adventure!
We started every day off at the Hulk! They loved this rollercoaster and rode it several times a day. That is the beauty of FOTL. We never waited more than five minutes to ride anything!
They enjoyed trying out the tester seats and were eager to help each other!
What goes up must come down, and boy did it! They could not pass by the Rip Ride Rocket without jumping on it!

They loved all of the thrill rides. I failed to get a picture of the Mummy but I believe it was their favorite while Ricky and I enjoyed the water rides the most! We especially enjoyed the front row seats on the River Adventure. As we made the huge drop, we were all four smacked in the face with water and completely soaked! So much unforgettable fun!
I have to mention this little guy "Dave" the cup! Ava bought him on the first day and we took him to the park daily! Drink of your choice refills for only .99! Great buy and a cute little guy to spend our days with! lol. The new Minion Mayhem ride was a lot of fun and brought a lot of smiles to a lot of faces!
Ava and Claire mapped out the "ride plan" each night for the next day! So sweet. Our job pretty much was just to follow along and be good listeners! lol.
There was always time to jump on the Spiderman ride and pose for silly pictures throughout the parks!
I have to mention the paparazzi! They were out in full force and you didn't have to be a celebrity to have them take a zillion pictures of you! lol. They really work hard and keep a smile on their face while making a living. Kudos to them!
It is always time to eat in the parks! This was pretty typical of what Ricky and I ate. It was absolutely delicious and easily the best food in the parks!
Ricky and I always committed gluttony at one of these two restaurants! lol. Great food at a fantastic price when one entree is shared by two! So maybe we aren't guilty of gluttony! lol.
Ava and Claire's food choices were a little different. lol. It was a daily Moe's Home Wrecker Jr, Dippin' Dots and Starbucks Strawberries and Creme drink. They didn't share and they repeated the Dippin' Dots and Starbucks at least once! lol.
We ended every day the same way - at the pool! We closed the pool down every night! The resort had many poolside waiters always available to take our order. We had a late poolside dinner each night which was so relaxing and enjoyable. It was a great way to top off the day! I am already missing this part of the trip! lol.
Ricky and I had freshly grilled fish tacos which were spectacular!
Of course the girls had the hot wings along with chicken tenders and fries! Surprise surprise! lol.
When I look at this picture, I see a great trip with great memories. We stayed extremely busy during the day but slept very well and always woke up well rested and ready and raring to repeat it again!
Part 1 of this trip has ended and we are headed over to the Radisson at the Port to spend one night before setting sail!
We have definitely had a five star stay at the Royal Pacific with its many amenities, conveniences and luxuries! I highly recommend staying here when visiting the parks. My only regret is not building in an extra day midway our trip to skip the parks and just stay at the pool all day and eat, drink, have fun and repeat! But on second thought, I know us well enough to know that we would still find ourselves at the parks! We had beautiful weather all week without rain or storms and kept a gentle breeze the majority of the time with temps in the high 80's. I hope you have enjoyed part one of our trip as much as I have enjoyed remembering it! Please stay tuned for part two!

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