Harmony of the Seas offers a lot of entertainment options onboard. Broadway, yes real Broadway, shows; Ice Skating, Aqua Theater... The list goes on! Here's a run down of it all.
The Ice Skating show onboard. I'm going to come out and say this nicely. Of all the ice skating shows I've seen on Royal ships, this was my least favorite. It was a French themed love story. The theme, I did not find family friendly. My son, almost 5, was scared at one point because of some of the costumes. Scary Moon faces and such and one skater jumped in to my son's face. He's typically not afraid of things. The story line was not conducive to kids like many of the other ones. The talent was outstanding. The skaters were top notch and the story itself wasn't bad, just not something I'd bring my kids to again until they are older.
It's hard to put in to words what this one is about. Looking back I think of sharks and dancing cheeseburgers... lol. It was entertaining to watch. new and different. It was all about Marvin Columbus, you know, Chris's distant cousin?? The ship used in the show was pretty cool. I should have taken the back stage tour to find out more about it, but I never got around to that. It's worth a shot if you're okay with strange. Definitely entertaining and a mix of popular music (hence the cheeseburgers & sharks....)
Grease is, well, Grease. You love it or you hate it. I didn't make my husband come to this one. He stayed in the room while the kids napped because we had an afternoon showing. The singers and dancers did a great job and I highly recommend it if you like Grease. Sorry no pictures of that one, oops!
Fun and upbeat, this show is offered twice on the last sea day. Reservations are not needed. It was a cute ending with a beachy-mystery theme!
This show is the "main" Aqua Theater show. Reservations are needed as the Aqua Theater is a smaller venue. Keep in mind there is a high probability of the show being moved form the original showing. This is because the ship is moving through water, many of the stunts performed are tricky and potentially dangerous. So they need optimal conditions. That being said... DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! I really enjoyed the tricks, stunts, and dives. The sound track includes many rock, alternative, and pop hits from the later 90s.
I'd been dreaming of sailing in a Boardwalk Balcony room since the Oasis of the Seas debuted back in 2009. The rooms looked fun. As a family who doesn't NEED a balcony, we opted for other rooms types in the past when sailing on an Oasis class ship. But, when booking our Harmony trip I was able to find a Boardwalk Balcony across from an Oceanview balcony (which is what my mom preferred to have.) So I snagged the two rooms asap.
Boardwalk Balcony Perks and Description
Boardwalk balcony rooms come with a few perks. They are typicaly a little less expensive than oceanview balcony rooms. You get to see parts of the Aqua theater show depending on location. You get 4 complimentary meals (4 people, not 4 different meals) at Johnny Rockets, located on the Boardwalk, and you get 2 soda packages. These are included in the price you pay.
We had the 3rd from last room from the back of the ship. So, pretty close to the Aqua Theater.
Adventure Ocean is the onboard program for kids between the ages 3-11. I have scanned the Kids Daily Planner for each day for anyone interested in seeing what types of activities offered. My, almost, 5 year old loved it and had a great time. He went to Adventure Dining (5-7pm) on 4 of the 7 nights which made our dinners slightly more peaceful! I highly recommend it. They serve them chicken nuggets, pizza, french fries plus a drink water or lemonade!
The pages are in order by day. On the left is the front side of the sheet and on the right are the images from the back side of the sheet. Aquanauts are on the front (left) and Explorers/Voyagers are on the back (right). I will write more about the experience in another post, this one will just serve as reference for the dailies.
*Click on the photos to enlarge!
Norwegian has been an innovator from the moment they started sailing the Caribbean! Over the years they have revamped their kids' programs to serve the current generation of children. Read on to find out more.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s youth programs are very security conscious. A parent or guardian is required to register kids ages 3-17. After registering, kids can participate as often as they (or their parents) choose. Once registered by a parent or guardian, only the authorized adults over 21 may sign kids between the ages of six months and 12 years in and out. The authorized adult must be listed on the Registration Form. They must have a photo ID ready to drop off or pick up children.
Guppies offers parents many opportunities to interact with their children between the ages of six months up to 3 years old with our kid-friendly programming.
Splash Academy is a drop-off program for children between the ages of 3 and 12. Splash Academy offers high energy, interactive and themed-based programming that varies daily. Activities may include arts and crafts, Circus School, games, painting, onboard scavenger hunts and video games. It is broken into three age groups:
Entourage is the hang out for teens ages 13-17. While mom and dad are enjoying date night, their teenager can hang out at Entourage, which is filled with fun activities like video games, movies, arts, music, sports and people their own age. Teens don’t need to stick to a schedule—they can drop in at any time. From the coolest lounge at sea to the hippest dance club at night, there’s always something going on at our complimentary and supervised teen centers.
If some of the family members choose to go on a Shore Excursion that isn’t suitable for younger members, they can arrange for free Port Play services from our youth program supervisors. This service is free except during breakfast, lunch and dinner hours.
It is recommended that parents register their child(ren) and teen(s) as soon as they board the ship. Any Youth Counselor on board the ship is available to assist. Guppies Nursery also requires reservations to secure a time block session throughout the sailing.
In summer 2017 NCL introduced certified lifeguards at family pools across the fleet. While it doesn't replace good old fashioned parental supervision, you can rest assured there is an extra layer of comfort onboard.
Should I cancel my cruise? I was scheduled to go to St Maarten, St Thomas, San Juan, etc.
No, don't cancel your cruise. Over the next few months itineraries will be adjusted to allow the islands to rebuild the necessary infrastructure for tourism. Alternate ports may be used in place of those that cannot accommodate the cruise ships at this time. If you had your heart set on a particular excursion, you can often find a comparable one at another port.
But, the island was ruined. Why should I go?
The residents there depend on tourism dollars. If you don't go, they lose money. Everything from the port fees collected, the trinkets you buy in port, to the tours that bring you around the islands. In turn, it takes them longer to rebuild their lives. If you had a specific excursion in mind, maybe change to something else available. Get involved in voluntourism while you are there. Bring much needed supplies for people in your suitcase and donate when you arrive. There are countless ways to help the people of the Caribbean islands in the coming months.
How will we know when it will be back to normal?
I have a cruise planned for early December. With stops in St Maarten, San Juan, and Nassau. I will gladly report back on the conditions of the ports :) In addition, the islands are very anxious to reopen to tourists and get back to business as usual. I will keep you updated with every ounce of information I get.
Please stay safe if you are in an area affected by the storm. Don't rush to accomplish anything that could put you or your family in danger. Take your time returning home if you have evacuated!
Believe it or not, this lifelong Floridian had never been to Medieval Times dinner show! Over the years I had always wanted to go, but never seemed to make time for it in all my travels. Finally, now that my oldest is 4 and 1/2, we made the decision to go. As we were driving there, about 20 minutes from our hotel, my husband was telling my mom and I that they don't give you any utensils. I thought, "that can't be true... soup is on the menu! How in the world would we eat it?" I had no idea what to expect other than watching a show of knights and horses. We had 3 adults (my mom, husband, and myself), my four year old, and my 7 month old baby in tow for the night.
The experience begins with being assigned a seating section. When you purchase tickets, there are different packages. We bought the basic seats and ended up in the last row. However, it was great. Visibility was fine and the extra space behind us came in handy. Other packages include things like priority seating, flags, banners, etc. We were given yellow crowns, which means we were to cheer on the Yellow Knight! Overall there are six sections in the arena, each with their own color scheme and knight. After getting your crowns, you move on the the photo op. It was our first time, well not my husband's, so we HAD to take a picture. Not bad for the first take right?
After the photo OP, you enter a room where a bar lines one entire wall. Two other walls are filled with merchandise and souvenirs. They sold everything from light-up swords to real swords! It was pretty crowded when we walked in and they began calling people by colored sections. Yellow was first! We were, swiftly, whisked up a staircase and in to the arena! I apologize for the lack of quality in the photos, I was holding the baby a lot and walking AND taking pictures, so they are a little crooked and blurry. Whoops!
Whelp. My husband was right! No silverware. I drank my soup like a champ! The meal was tasty, baked chicken, corn on the cob, garlic bread, and a half roasted potato! We had a really nice waiter who gave us extra garlic bread, potato, and corn for the baby. Drinks consisted of lemonade, water, Pepsi products, and coffee with dessert. Looking back, eating with my hands was part of the fun. I did use a few napkins, simply because I hate food on my fingers. Some people say they bring in their own cutlery. When I go back again, and yes I plan to go back when the baby gets bigger, I plan to eat with my hands again. All in good fun!
Dessert was lemon cake. Bleh. I'm hoping it changes from day to day because that wasn't enjoyable for me. Give me something chocolately and I am good.;)
The show begins shortly after they get everyone seated. Roving salespeople walk around selling flags, swords, and other goodies that the kids go bonkers for. Yup, mine wanted a light up sword. The lady selling them never came to us and he kept asking for one throughout the show. We bought him a yellow flag to wave until we could get someone to come by. There are two flag sizes, we bought the smaller one for $3. The larger was more of a rectangular pennant and cost $5. They introduce each respective knight to their section while you have soup and garlic bread. Then once dinner is served, the main show begins.
If you're wondering about my son's sword, we bought it after the show. It's probably for the better because he would have wanted to swing it around while watching the action. He carried it around with him everywhere for the rest of our trip to Orlando. I even had some of my own fun with it ;)
I highly recommend this experience for young kids and adults who are young at heart <3
Being that the majority of my blog is about traveling with kids, and as a family, I would not call it an overly family friendly hotel. The only things for kids to do are swim and the arcade. There wasn't a playground or even any fun pool equipment (slide, sprayers, etc). I would have liked to see more for kids to do on property, seeing as though a lot of people bring their families along for conventions in Orlando. They provided a real crib and not just a pack n play, which was nice. Once my son got hurt, explained below, we didn't have the pool option any longer. So staying on the property was tough. Four year olds can only go so long before they need something to do! The good news is that it's a very quick trip to SeaLife Aquarium, Madame Tussaud, and the Orlando Eye. There is a Publix supermarket across the street from the hotel which is nice to pick up snacks or other needs.
There are a lot of dining options onsite. We ate at the Osceola Buffet for breakfast one day, 18 Monroe Street Market for lunch twice, and Mi Casa for dinner once. The food was decent for hotel food. It was nice that a few of the restaurants were all on the same strip/hall. We were able to look at menus and decide between the Burger joint, Mexican, sushi, etc. other restaurants were scattered about the property. There is an ice cream shop downstairs near the market. Surprisingly I never got anything, I wish I had because I'm an ice cream lover!
Be aware that the hotel property is HUGE. There are multiple conventions going on at the same time here, but plenty of space so you don't really feel like you're always on top of each other. Some parts of the hotel were FREEZING (near the strip of restaurants) and others were humid and warm (by the elevators). It could just be the nature of where people congregated and architecture of the building? I'm not really sure, but it was strange to have such extremes. Just be prepared to walk a lot!
Parking & Driving
Self Parking was a pretty far walk and cost was $18 per day. Thankfully I was aiming to reach my step goal on my FitBit ;) so it didn't make a huge difference to me except in the rain. If it was rainy or exceptionally hot I would cut through the convention center to get to the main part of the hotel. A lot of people double parked along the curbs to be closer to the front even though there were plenty of open parking spots. I could forsee a lot of dings and dents as some of the corners are tight.
I know this isn't the hotel's fault, but it's something to be aware of. When exiting the hotel via car, you go out to a fairly busy street (Universal Blvd). I am surprised that there is not a traffic signal here. One day I sat there for 15 minutes (no exaggeration) and I could not make a left turn because the traffic was so heavy. This wasn't during rush hour, it was 10am. So on the following days I made a right turn and then a U-turn at the next signal. Just something to note.
We had a small mishap with my 4 year old at the beach/zero entry pool a few hours after we arrived. He accidentally fell backward and hit his head, splitting it open a little. The manager and head of security were nothing but exceptional when helping us with this matter. They sent security (trained in first aid) to check him out and determined we needed to go to the hospital. My son needed staples in the ER. The manager followed up with us and even surprised him with milk, cookies, and a stuffed bear that night to help him feel better about the experience.
We also left a bag, with all of our shoes, in our room and didn't realize until we got home that night. I called the hotel Monday morning and they offered to ship the bag to us. I called the following day and was told they had already shipped, it turned out they hadn't shipped them yet. We were leaving town again in a few days and needed all of our dress shoes! They ended up arriving Friday afternoon, but we were already gone on our next adventure.
A few years ago I went to Legoland with my older son and some extended family, you can read my previous review here. We really enjoyed ourselves and felt like it was an anxiety free experience. Those of you who frequent "the mouse" might know what I mean when I mention anxiety. Wait times at Legoland are negligible, which adds to the positive experience. Now that he's a bit older, and taller (more rides to ride), we decided to go back. I was really excited because he had a good time back in 2015. Two years older and wiser, I figured he'd love it. He's been watching the Lego cartoons on Netflix lately and building stuff with Duplo blocks. So he had been talking about this all summer long. Every time we'd get in the car he'd ask "Are we going to Legoland?"
My 4 year old is 39 inches tall. Although according to the Legoland measuring sticks, he's 40 inches! This was a huge win in our book because he was able to go on The Dragon roller coaster. This was one of our first rides and I was nervous that he might chicken out. He LOVED it. I'm not a coaster fan, but rode it anyway and had fun! Other rides that we sampled on this trip-
*Took the baby on with me.
Rain, Rain, Go Away!
So after being denied shelter in a downpour. Not to mention lightning and thunder all around us. I took out the map. While figuring out what to do next, we bought a single poncho to throw over the stroller for the baby. There was no sign of the rain letting up. I decided we were going to the Imagination Zone. It is a huge indoor complex with everything you could imagine Lego. Play areas. Classes in physics and robot building. Giant bins of Legos. Interactive exhibits. Truly amazing spot at the back/ mid-point of the park. I am kicking myself now for not having taken pictures of the Imagination Zone. Just believe me when I tell you that it is hours and hours of fun for young kids.
Here's the only catch. We were nowhere near the Imagination Zone. So I made my family walk through the pouring rain to get there. I knew it was going to rain for a while. We needed something to keep busy. We couldn't stand under a single awning meant for one. It was cold in there. Thankfully my mom brought an M&M blanket along and I threw that around my shoulders while I warmed and dried the little guy. My husband took our older son to play in the Zone. We spent a good hour there before riding a couple more rides while it drizzled, then we decided to just head home.
The park has plenty of photo opportunities to snap a cute pose with Lego sculptures. From Mini Land, an impressive display of real life cities across the globe, to giant Lego people!
This time the experience wasn't ideal. By no fault of Legoland, our day wasn't as planned. We had fun. I plan to come back again. Perhaps when the baby is 4 or 5!
As soon as I had heard about this place, I knew I'd want to try it. Chocolate? Yes, please! The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen is located in the City Walk area of Universal. Parking is FREE in the garage and you go through security as you leave the garage and head toward City Walk. I like this single point of entry concept for Universal and Islands of Adventure. Plus it makes the City Walk area more secure as well!
Toothsome does not accept reservations. I learned this the day prior when I called to make one. Whoops! They are a walk-up establishment. We came specifically for the restaurant; we did not visit the parks as we were in town for a convention. So we put our name in and I was told it would be an hour wait. This was on a Thursday evening at 7 pm in July. I only mention all these details so that you get an idea as to how busy the place actually is! Our initial wait was an hour. We were asked to wait by the dessert kitchen... I had not even seen the menu and already decided to go light on my meal to ensure I had room for all. this. goodness.
About 20 minutes later, we were finally seated. We had a table on the first floor near the restrooms. The initial wait was offputting. The rest of our evening seemed to take a long time was well.. I am not sure if this is business as usual or that we happened to hit it on an exceptionally busy evening. We were finished with everything around 10 pm that evening. That's a little rough when traveling with a 4 year old and 7 month old, but we made do. ;)
I chose to go somewhat light on my entree, to save room for dessert. Because, of course, that is what I came for! All of our food was good, portion sizes were filling, and everything was flavorful. Next time I come, I may share a dessert so I can try a more filling entree! Between the three adults we had:
This is what I call the main event! Dessert. It was pretty late, and I was kinda full from the flatbread, but there was no way I was going to pass up on dessert. Everything was amazing. I couldn't finish mine, as it was very rich. Again, servings were nice sized! Our desserts were as follows:
When you first enter Toothsome you are greeted with three options. Walk straight and put your name in for a table. Off to the left is the "to-go" dessert counter. You can order milkshakes and small desserts to take with you. To the right is a full-size chcolatier. Upstairs is a sizeable bar where one can eat, drink, and have a good time. There is a lot of additional dining space upstairs as well. Some parts overlook the downstairs dining room and others overlook the candy shop below.
Overall... I will definitely be back for more!
I've been getting a lot of inquiries for MSC Cruise Line. I am guessing that it is because the Seaside is going to debut in South Florida later this year. So naturally, my interest has been piqued! I spent the last few days working on some training from them, asking fellow agents, and even a few friends who have traveled on MSC in the past. I am happy to report that they look VERY family friendly. Of course that's my angle because I book so many families on vacations. ;)
Well, I am back from the annual mommy and me weekend. This year we chose the Hyatt Regency in Bonita Springs. I've booked numerous happy travelers there over the years, all with positive feedback. So, I finally got around to going there myself. In short, I LOVED the resort and grounds. Everything was beautiful and there was plenty to do. This resort is great for all ages, especially multi-generational groups, weddings, and people looking to have fun!
Double Standard Room
Let's start with the only downer for the trip. The beds were horrific. I am hoping it was just our room. I don't normally complain about a bed being THAT terrible. But it was bad. The first night I woke up with shooting pain in my left hip and knee. When I went to move, it hurt even more. So I just laid in one spot until I fell back asleep. The second night I woke up at one point and my neck was in pain as if I had slept with it completely crooked, which I didn't! I talked with my mom and she said she was in terrible pain at night too. So it wasn't just me being a pain in the butt (or maybe that was my bed?!?)
Otherwise the room was beautiful. Located on the 14th floor, we had room 1422. It was nice because we had our own little hallway for our room. Being set back from the main hall was nice because our room was immediately adjacent to the elevators. We never heard a peep from other guests. When you enter the room, there was a small table to the right with a caoffee maker and cups. To the left was the bathroom. The rest of the room was straight ahead. We had a massive, 65" LG TV on the wall, bigger than the one I have at home. Our room overlooked the golf course next door and at an angle we could see the Lazy River and Water Slides!
The room had a few neat features in it. The bedside table had a motion sensor. So when you woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom (or feed a baby in my case) a small floor light would illuminate the path. Just enough to see where you are going but not so much as to disturb others in the room. The closet had a similar sensor light.
*Don't forget to click on the images below to view the full photo and in a larger size.
We did not use the kids program during our stay, but I liked what I saw! First of all there is a small area next to the lobby desk with chairs and books for kids to enjoy while the adults check in. Not necessarily part of Camp Hyatt, but a nice family-friendly touch. My photo of the kids club isn't the best because it was closed on Friday (no one signed up for the evening hours) and so I could only get a snapshot from the door. friday and Saturday nights they offer a Parents Night Out for $65 per child. It runs from 6-10pm, includes dinner, ice cream from Cool Beans, s'mores roasting at the campfire, crafts, and more! More info can be found on the image below (right).
There are so many things to do on property, this blog entry could turn in to a book. Nightly campfires (2 locations) with an option to roast S'mores (can be purchased from Cool Beans). rocking chairs on the patios. Hammocks on the lawn. Minigolf. Lawn games (cornhole, giant Connect Four, giant Jenga).
Royal Caribbean is introducing a non-refundable deposit program. Before you get upset... read on to learn more!
Are All Deposits Non-refundable? No. The following cruise fares will have non-refundable deposits. All suites, guarantee options, and general non-refundable fares. If you choose a refundable fare, this won't apply to you.
What is the fee? The cancellation/change fee will be $100 per person per change. 4 people = $400. If you change the ship or sail date, the fee will be incurred. If you change the ship/sail date 3 times, that means you will be charged the fee 3 times. You get the idea.
What about cancellations? If you cancel before final payment you will be issued a Future Cruise Certificate valid 1 year from the cancellation in the dollar amount which you placed as a deposit.
What is the benefit? For a regular stateroom (non-suite or non-guarantee) the non-refundable rate will be the lowest rate available. If booked more than 6 months out there is also a booking incentive (see chart below). So, if you're 100% confident you will be going on the trip it is a nice option to help save some money!
Will trip insurance cover the cancellation fee? Royal Caribbean Travel Protection will not cover the non-refundable portion. Outside insurance providers will make the determination based on their own terms and conditions. Having a good travel agent can help you maneuver through these things ;)
Is this combinable with other promotions? That depends. Nonrefundable deposit fares are combinable with promotional onboard credit offers, Crown & Anchor discounts, and NextCruise benefits. Such fares are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, standard group, interline, travel agent, travel agent friends & family, net as well as weekly sales events and shareholder benefits.
When will this begin? July 1st, 2017.
Reach out to me to more information. I'm always here to help!
This might be shocking to some, but I just traveled on my first child-free trip in over 5 years! Yup, me. The girl who goes everywhere with her kids. It's a totally different world out there when you don't have to bring your kids along. While I love to bring my boys with us on trips, this was for a bachelorette party in Vegas. Probably not the right time to bring a 4 year old and 4 month old along ;) They stayed home, as did my husband. That's me on the left. A subtle smile that is secretly screaming with joy to get out for a weekend. ...and to think, I was dreaming of restful sleep! hahaha. Not in vegas!
Of course, I have to address this part. What was it like to travel without children in tow in over 5 years? Amazing! Except for the part where I had an anxiety attack because I hate to fly. (I force myself to fly because I love to travel). Or the part where I'm running on 10 hours of sleep between Thursday morning at 7am and Monday morning at 2am... I was able to board an airplane with just a handbag. Sweet. I walked, quickly, through the airport not worried about my child lagging behind me. I only had myself to worry about when going through security. I didnt have to remind anyone to go potty before getting on the plane. No car seats to install. No strollers to check at the gate. Flying solo, oh it was marvelous! But. I missed my kids and husband. Now, let's move on to the other good parts!
Seven girls. Two rooms. Four beds. Two bathrooms. You might be surprised, but it worked! We had no issues. We were fortunate in that we got connecting rooms. We kept the door open, most of the time, and so we had two bathrooms to choose from. We managed to get showers, makeup, and fashion shows accomplished easily. Go us! The rooms were spacious enough for all of us. The bathrooms were unique in that the shower overlooks the room. Thankfully there is a shade that can be pulled down (pictured below) for some privacy if you're in a group like we were. The beds were comfortable. I would definitely stay here again if I ever come back to Vegas. Strangely, the last time I was in Vegas I said I didn't forsee a time I would ever come back. So much for that!
The Cosmopolitan Suite
My friend's mom threw her shower while we were out there as well. She took a suite for the weekend. It was the Wraparound Terrace Suite with Fountain View paired with a One Bedroom Suite. In total it was about 1800 square feet. That's bigger than my first house! It was a great place that we ended up hanging in more often than a club! If it's in your budget it's worth it. The wraparound terrace overlooked Marquee, the night/day club with a pool, the strip, and the Belaggio fountains.
What is this? Pay someone to make my hair pretty? Yeah, I pretty much live in the Stone Ages these days when it comes to self-care. So when one of the girls mentioned heading over to Drybar on Friday before dinner, I was in! Sign this mother up. It was a short walk across the street, located in the Magnificent Mile shoppes (part of Planet Hollywood). The place was poppin! Or should that be hoppin? Yeah, I definitely feel old because I don't know the lingo. But, they had a DJ, movies playing, drinks, etc. I felt like I was in a nightclub, but it was 6:30 in the evening. They washed my hair and then I picked from a book how I wanted them to style it. Earlier in the day my hair was a messy half up half down, as seen in the very top picture on this entry.
The sushi/ ramen bar located in the Cosmo hotel. I wasn't too excited to eat there. But it ended up being great food. I had the pork belly ramen and so did half the table! I had a really yummy drink too. I can't find their drink menu online, but it was the equivalent of a margarita. One drink did the trick. Not to mention it was 10pm in Vegas and 1am in my brain. It's definitely a place I would dine at again.
Bouchon at the Venetian
My friend's mom threw her shower while we were out in Vegas. She had a private room reserved at Bouchon, located inside the Venetian hotel. The food was delicious as well. I think 90% of the group ordered the Chicken with Bacon Waffles. It did not disappoint! I was less enthused with the desserts, but then again I am picky when it comes to desserts. Give me something chocolate-y or cheesecake-y and I am good. Another thumbs up from me for Vegas dining.
This was another place that I wasn't super thrilled about before the trip. Located on the second floor of the Aria, the patio dining area was light and airy. The vibe was chill. I don't eat seafood. Yes, I fully admit to being picky with many foods and adventurous with others! This wasn't my party so I didn't really have a say. I was, again, wrong! The food was delicious. I had meatballs and a side of Death By Potatoes. If potatoes were my means of death, I would take this manner of death any day. It was amazing. Picture below are the meatballs, my potatoes, and my friend and I having some fun on the patio after stuffing our faces. Three for three on restaurants for this trip so far.
I had a really good weekend. Even in our 30s, we can still enjoy ourselves in Vegas.
You can view any of these photos in a larger size if you click on them!
Disney's Fort Wilderness is a unique gem situated off of Bay Lake, which means it has direct boat access to the Magic Kingdom ;) This was actually my second time staying in one of the cabins. My first experience was for one of my birthdays long ago, back in 2003. Things have changed since then and so I want to bring you the most up to date information I have on these spacious and relaxing "rooms."
Each cabin has a bedroom with full-sized bed as well as twin bunks. Floor space is a little cramped, but it's not a big deal because you have the rest of the cabin to sprawl out in! The bedroom also has a small closet with a curtain, flat screen TV, drawers, counter space, mirror, and side table. Remember you can click on the photos for a larger view!
Living & Dining Room
There is a dining table that can seat 6 total, I would say four comfortably though. One bench seat and three rustic chairs. It was nice to have a real table to sit down at for breakfasts, which we brought with us, and the one dinner that we ate in the cabin. In the living room section there was a 60+ inch flat screen HDTV on the middle far wall. It was placed between two windows, so I advise you close the curtains on either side for a less blinding view! The sofa unfolds to make an additional sleeping space for 2. Or in my family, one person takes up the whole thing ;)
There are 6 drawers under the TV and two cabinets on each side. A lot of storage space indeed. Finally, there is an ottoman and a rustic armchair for an additional seating space. Both the armchair and sofabed came in handy when my four year old spiked a fever on our second day of the trip.
This is quite possibly, my favorite feature of the cabins. Having a full kitchen at your fingertips is wonderful, especially when you are traveling with a 3 month old, 4 year old, and hungry husband! A refrigerator with freezer, two-burner glass top range, microwave/convection oven combo, kettle, coffee maker (with coffee and filters), toaster, and all the utensils needed to make meals. This was handy for quick and easy breakfasts. We kept all our snacks around for when we were back in the cabin and even ate a meal here one night. They also provide drinking glasses, plates, bowls, silverware, and more. It helps take the edge off of a potentially stressful vacation when you can come "home" at the end of the day.
We brought our own vehicle with us, but we also rented a golf cart for the stay. It was $59 per day and well worth it. With my son getting sick while we were there, a spin out on the cart in fresh air really helped perk him up. Many of the places in the fort (restaurants, pools, general stores) do not have parking for standard vehicles. There is, however, plenty of golf cart parking. Each cabin has a hookup outside so that the cart can charge overnight.
* A word of caution though, if you are not staying within Fort Wilderness it could take you a long time to get to the venue. You will need to take your car, or park transportation busses, to the front of Fort Wilderness. There is a bus stop with both Disney Parks busses, as well as internal Fort Wilderness busses. You will board a Fort Wilderness internal bus and take it to the Settlement stop. This is where both Hoop De Doo and the Backyard BBQ are located.
The meal is buffet style barbecue. It's not gourmet, but it's edible. We're barbecue snobs in our home and it was fine with us. Everything from ribs, chicken, mac and cheese, beans, corn, pasta/potato salad, and more! The buffet area is centered at the back of the pavilion flanked on the sides by soft drink stations. Finally, on each end is a cooler with Mickey Ears and other ice cream & treats. Sorry, we only paid attention to the Mickey Ears!
BONUS: Beer, Wine, and Sangria are included for those of age ;)
This Character Dining Experience is a bit different than others in that you can do a met and greet with the characters: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip & Dale, but there is also live entertainment on the stage. Singers, a band, a dance floor, and more! The characters come out to some of the open areas of the floor and dance with any willing participants. You'll see a shot of my 4 year old dancing next to Goofy below. There was even a guy doing rope tricks on stage and at the main dance floor. That part was pretty exciting other than the fact that my four year old complained it was too loud and scary when he cracked the whip :/
There were highchairs at the end of each picnic table, but it didn't seem like enough because people were searching and asking if they were being used. We gave ours to another family as soon as we finished our meal. Strollers are not allowed under the pavilion so we had to bring the baby's car seat in with us and hold it while sitting on the table. There is stroller parking by the front entrance. I will throw the picture in at the bottom of this post with some miscellaneous shots.
Hi! I am Nicole Perry, owner of Sunkissed Adventures.
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