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Thread: Advice on Universal resorts?

  1. #26
    wears a coca-cola shirt to club cool just in case vatmark's Avatar
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    We stayed at HRH with 2 teens who won't sleep together. We were in a deluxe queen room and there is a lot of space. DD slept in one of the queen beds, me and DH slept in the other and DS slept on the floor on an air mattress. There is a sofa bed but we never tried it out so can't say if it was comfortable or not. You might want to check out what time club level opens up in the morning. I thought I read something about one of the hotels not opening club level early enough to make it to early entry. Not sure if that was HRH.

    Not sure if you have AAA but you may be able to get a discount with that. We got one but had to call. Not sure if it is available during the peak times or not.

    Ann

  2. #27
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    Thanks Ann. It says HRH CL opens at 7:30 but I noticed one of the other resorts said theirs opened at 7. So weird that they wouldn't all have the same hours. So I was thinking about that and early entry. But thanks for the info on the room, definitely.
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    It's an amusement park, for goodness sake, how much planning could you need?

  3. #28
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    The concierge room was really not much. Pretty small and while convenient for a quick breakfast, I'm not so sure it's really worth the extra $$.

  4. #29
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    Thanks Marianna. In looking at it, it's $160 more per night over a standard 2 queen room. The larger room mentioned by Ann was less than CL by maybe $30-50 or so (I closed the website and can't remember).

    I think the larger non CL room is what we need. Guess I won't be able to play Pampered Princess.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
    It's an amusement park, for goodness sake, how much planning could you need?

  5. #30
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    Mousesavers lists discounts for Universal. Even going peak dates I think something might open up. Ex: through midnight tonight there's an 18% off code for cheaptickets.com that includes Christmas peak dates.

    @George, for Cabana Bay standard room four nights Columbus Day weekend with taxes & discount we're paying $457.
    Pop standard room for the same dates: $568. If Disney releases a discount code for 20% off Values, Cabana Bay will still be similarly priced.

  6. #31
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    Thanks, I did not think to look at Mousesavers but I will.
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    It's an amusement park, for goodness sake, how much planning could you need?

  7. #32
    Senior Member gccmedina's Avatar
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    My family did the Hard Rock almost 3 yrs ago and loved it. We stayed for a week and had 4 days of tickets to Universal and that is all we did. Rested, swam, got a cabana for the day. We had club level so there was drinking every afternoon. I thought the room was a bit small but we all loved that you could walk to the park and city walk. My 16 yr old has no interest in Disney wants to go to Universal.
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  8. #33
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    We stayed at HR a few months ago. We had a regular room, which was very small. If I was choosing between club level or the deluxe size room, I'd choose the bigger room. BTW my kids are 13 and 15 and they had to sleep in the same bed.

    My family enjoyed the HR. It was too cold for us to take advantage of the pool, but it was nice. My DH is just a grown up teen himself, so the HR was perfect for both him and DS. It was a bit loud for me. Our room was facing the pool, so I could hear the pool music inside the room when I was close to the window. The HR was fun and I would stay there again. Our room was on the wing closest to US. We went down a flight of stairs and out the side door. We would walk over to US and be there in a heart beat. It was further to IOS, but not too far.


    BUT DD and I took a walk over to the Portifino one evening. We really liked it. I think if we went back, I'd give it a try. The only thing that would hold me back from choosing Portifino over HR is that it is not as close to the parks which would mean using the water taxi most of the time. It also seemed a little too quiet when we were looking around. I'm not sure how to explain it.

  9. #34
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    Well thanks everyone! This is all very helpful.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
    It's an amusement park, for goodness sake, how much planning could you need?

  10. #35
    Senior Member Rowan's Avatar
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    When I was pricing it out, I had a standard queen room package quoted with 3 day tickets for the four of us,at Royal Pacific. By using the APH rate, getting myself an AP and getting tickets through the Mousesaver Undercover tourist link for the other 3 in my group, I saved about $250 with an upgraded room than the higher price packaged quote had. This is for a 3 night stay in mid Oct. AAA agent over the phone, gave the exact same price as the Universal website.

  11. #36
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    It's hard to imagine getting an AP for one might save us money during Easter for only a 3 day trip, but it is one of the ideas I have in mind. I used to be a Universal pass holder when I lived in FL and I know they are pretty inexpensive compared to Dis new. Or at least they used to be.
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    It's an amusement park, for goodness sake, how much planning could you need?

  12. #37
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    We had a couple of problems with the Hard Rock. First, we had a ground level room next to the pool and people tended to play music until the very early hours. It was just too noisy for us. I suppose the title of the hotel should have given us a clue ;-)

    Secondly, and more worryingly, we awoke in the middle of the night to find someone entering our room. It was soon apparent that it was a member of staff, who quickly apologised and left. We reported it to reception and unfortunately they couldn't/wouldn't offer an explanation and couldn't have cared less.

    We've stayed in the Royal Pacific a couple of times and loved it there.

  13. #38
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    The Power Pass (Annual Pass) which has no blackout dates and includes the resort discounts and free parking is $289. Hard to believe it wouldn't pay for itself if you're looking at a $1,900 rack rate.
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  14. #39
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    Thanks Dr. K. I haven't looked at the APs yet, so thanks for the lead.
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  15. #40
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernierich View Post
    We had a couple of problems with the Hard Rock. First, we had a ground level room next to the pool and people tended to play music until the very early hours. It was just too noisy for us. I suppose the title of the hotel should have given us a clue ;-)

    Secondly, and more worryingly, we awoke in the middle of the night to find someone entering our room. It was soon apparent that it was a member of staff, who quickly apologised and left. We reported it to reception and unfortunately they couldn't/wouldn't offer an explanation and couldn't have cared less.

    We've stayed in the Royal Pacific a couple of times and loved it there.
    That's unfortunate about someone entering your room. I'd say that can happen anywhere though, so it wouldn't turn me off the HR. But I can understand why it added to your opinion.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
    It's an amusement park, for goodness sake, how much planning could you need?

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorK View Post
    Yes, all four are owned and operated by Loews. If you have status with the Loews "You First" program, however, Cabana Bay does not accrue status, nor can benefits be used there. The other three properties both accrue status and you can use benefits (free internet, free fitness center access, one category upgrade, late checkout).

    I just asked for a status match and was denied, but got upgraded to Blue Level, which is free fitness center, upgrade and late checkout, but not free internet. If you have status elsewhere it's worth an e-mail to their generic You First customer service address.
    Actually you cannot accrue points towards the Loewes Blue Program etc. staying at Hard Rock.

  17. #42
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    Have stayed at HRH and RPH. I am just not a universal fan. Hate that there are no balconies. etc. I use it for FOTLA only. It is very nice for that. We have easily done both parks in 1.5 days and that included HP opening weekend. Last time we went 2012 I was SO done in under 2 days there. THIS year with the NEW potter opening I have allowed 2.5 days but I couldn't take much more there. Just so not my thing....I plan the trips at the END of the WDW trip b/c FOTLA is so very nice...then I return to Disney property one more night before flying home. Honestly I am ALL about a hotel room, the view, the everything...I couldn't care less here about any of that. It is a bed to sleep in for FOTLA...

  18. #43
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    Also Vicky I got great deal on tix about 6 months ago at ticketsatwork.com . 4 day park to park for price of 2 days. No I didn't need 4 days but it was cheaper than Triple A's 2 day pass at the time. Deals really vary on this site and orbitz with the ebates cash back 20% was a great deal few months ago

  19. #44
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottmel View Post
    Actually you cannot accrue points towards the Loewes Blue Program etc. staying at Hard Rock.
    Ooops, you're right. Hard Rock has a separate loyalty program.
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  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by vicki_c View Post
    PS, should we consider a package or just do room only and then get tickets separate?
    From what I've read there are fees involved with revising or cancelling packages, so room only is probably the better bet.

  21. #46
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    Thanks Lisa, I did go ahead and reserve something and now just to hope there might be a discount come next year!

    And Mel, thanks for your comments above too, I had missed them before somehow.
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  22. #47
    prefers quisp over quake tiggr88's Avatar
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    I've stayed at Portofino Bay on an anniversary trip and at the HRH with the family. We are going back to HRH in August for a few days.

    When we visit Disney or Universal, we also prefer two bathrooms. We've been successful with just getting two rooms and requesting connecting, so that is what we did at HRH and will do again in August. If the Easter week rates are high, that may not be doable. We've stayed off-season with discounts and averaged a little over $200 per night per room, so that may not be a fair comparison.

    We loved both. I would recommend HRH for the family. I was concerned that the noise level might be an issue, but it wasn't at all in the rooms and corridors. The lobby and pool were different, but that is to be expected. And actually enjoyed. The kids loved the pool and the day we didn't go into the parks was great hanging out there.
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  23. #48
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    Thanks! We will have to make do without 2 bathrooms for those 3 nights, there's just no way we could swing that at those rates. Well, it will be nice when we move to Disney and probably a 1 BR at Kidani with 2 bathrooms. I was so concerned about having two bathrooms this year (and it was nice) but in truth, getting everyone ready early in the morning turned out to be less of an issue, since 1\2 the time I couldn't get my kids up early anyway. Teenagers. It was a very different trip than all our previous rope drop trips!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
    It's an amusement park, for goodness sake, how much planning could you need?

  24. #49
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    The good news is that except for one morning for Diagon Alley, you won't necessarily need to get up early if you are staying onsite.

  25. #50
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnoble View Post
    The good news is that except for one morning for Diagon Alley, you won't necessarily need to get up early if you are staying onsite.
    After looking at the Hogwarts Express ride (two different rides, Hogsmeade -> Kings Cross and Kings Cross -> Hogsmeade) I think you might actually need two early mornings. By my estimate they can accommodate about 1200 passengers per hour in each direction, so the queue will build fast! So with those two rides and the Gringotts ride, I don't think a single early morning will enable you to accomplish it all without ending up in a multi-hour line.

    Of course, this is all speculation - we'll have to see how lines look when it's all open.
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