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Old 13 Feb 05, 06:52 PM  
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HIGHLANDER447 TRIP REPORT (LONG)..A little background info we had booked and planned this holiday since last march 2004 we paid in full in October 2004 then on the 6th of Januaru at 2.30pm we got a phone call from Thomas Cook to say that there was a problem and our hotel was over booked and we would have to move to AKL now this was no good as we had AP's for universal we really wanted to stay at RPR in Universal and we where not doing Disney at all as we are staying there this september for 2 weeks the girl eventually called back 2 hours later to say we could stay till the 13th check out transfer to AKL and thentransfer back on the 16th to RPR they also agreed to pay for the transfers and gave us £350 refund for Disney Passes niw as we where flying to Gatwick at 9am next day I didn't really have a choice but to agree not happy but still we where going on holiday
PREQUEL Getting There; After the news we where splitting our trip at AKL I spent hours on the net getting info so we could at least have a revised plan, got to bed about 2am. Got everyone up at 7.30 am after breakfast and a final check we had everything called for a taxi to take us to Airport in the UK we have been having pretty bad weather so it came as no surprise our flight to London was delayed by an hour turned into nearly 2 hours but we passed time by eating and shopping, fight was pretty choppy but ok, we got our luggage ok and went off to check into the travel inn no probs checking in my son was pleased as they had sports channel in bar and we wanted to watch the Liverpool game, booked a table for dinner we relaxed in room for a few hours then off to dinner which was pretty good for a travel inn after dinner we found a spot for the game then horror of horrors postponed due to weather, so far this weathers a real pain, so after a drink in the bar we join DW &DD in room for TV,I set alarm for 545 am then off to sleep. We had breakfast at Travel inn kids ate free which was good, called for taxi to airport only a 5 min journey, then it go's bad the airport was chaos no queuing system, seems something broke down which caused this after over an hour of queuing we check in ask about upgrade no chance this girl was not into customer service then we had a security check on the cases (this morning just gets better) we buy lunch etc for plane then head for gates then we are told 50 min delay half expected this due to weather but it turned into 90 min not too bad but means we will miss parades at USO.Flight over was choppy at parts but otherwise ok they showed Shrek 2(must be for me)& Terminal with Tom Hanks, we arrived at Sanford & it was bad took 90 min to process us queuing system was terrible no air conditioning you would be prosecuted for treating animals this way but enough said, we get cases and driver for limo waiting , he takes cases with wife & kids while I try & find a rep to speak too I wait 15-20 min finally get to speak to a rep who at first knows nothing, then checks sheet of paper and says oh someone is going to call you tomorrow, I was not in good humor these people where ticking me off to put it mildly we eventually arrive at RPR check in at Lowes line next problem they have us checking out on the 12th I say no should be 13th but obviously she can't help we don't have any US no's for Thomson and neither did this girl we check-in get room 3519 nice enough was not offered gift or upgrade I asked for wine she said ok we had a good view of the Luau but we where all tired a d fed up with hassle both me and my wife where wondering what else is going to go wrong, we went to city walk and ate at NBA 20 min wait nit accepting key cards Saturday, kids played a few games we got our table food was good DS had fish & fries, DD had burger & fries DW had chicken club & fries and I had 3 on 3 a selection of starters with 4 soft drinks after discount $40 our server was pretty good with the refills he had my glass being refilled as I emptied it never had a beer to uptight to trust myself with that we headed back to room all in bed for 10 pm (21 hrs on the go).
My DW due to meds snores pretty loud so at 5 am I had a choice death row or Wal-Mart so I got ready son also decided to join me, daughter said she was going to try & sleep, I went to front desk spoke to a really nice lady at front desk about our situation she was very sympathetic but told me to come back at around 9 am and ask for front desk manager but not say she told me that, she arranged a cab for me & son to Wal-Mart $13 incl tip each way, so I got new jeans, some supplies and binoculars for AKL so kids could see animals better, we got back to room about 8.30 am, DW & DD where up and ready so we had breakfast in room then after a shower went to front desk to follow advice given earlier(sorry guys know this is probably bore)I didn't get to speak to manager but got a supervisor Darryl nice guy very polite he said he would make a few calls and that he was very sorry about us having to deal with this on vacation we agreed I would call back later for a progress report. Okay so now the parks we headed to IOA determined not to let this spoil the holiday first stop was at a shop as last march l had bought a woody clock which was broken still had receipt girl at shop exchanged no problems (got to love resort delivery) it was a pretty hot morning so we hit Dudley very great and wet, then Popeye need l say more, then we waited 20 min for the flyers first time on this ride its enjoyable although DD makes it more fun due to fact she is pretty scared of dino's, pretty easy to wind up, after the flyers we headed to JP boat ride we got front row and very wet, then we wandered to DD we went on fire 2nd row pretty good it was now about noon so kids where hungry (as always) we looked at Mythos but kids not that hungry so we ended up at Seuss Cafe DD had pizza & DS had chicken & fries kids meal we got a large juice to share, they loved the cookie also I tried a slice of pizza it was pretty nice, so after being refreshed we set off again we had a few pics with gringe etc also the xmas decorations where still up looked pretty good then it was off to the hulk now my DW has been receiving treatment for her shoulder and is on meds for it as well so she sat this out I rode once with kids then they rode themselves, after that it was Spidey which was great as always although DW said she would have been better on hulk as she got thrown a lot, it was about 1pm now and very warm so we headed away from IOA (by the way while in IOA we also had too go in the shops as well at least according to the girls we did just didn't want to numb your brain with all those shops).We where going to do US but as it was so nice we decided to hit RPR pool but on the way I saw those lovely deck chairs outside Margaretville and I could feel the islands calling me home so after a beer and a hot dog which was delicious and few evil childlike stares to their dad we got to the pool which was not crowded, while the family got set up at the pool I went to speak to Darryl who basically couldn't help with our dilemma which to be fair I expected but he did offer me a room $139 night as I had AP for the 12th I paid for this as we really had plans set in stone that day due to DD birthday, when I went to room there was a voicemail message from our travel rep basically saying where are u guys how come we have not heard from u? and they had left a package at front desk for me, okay now I was mad, so after picking up the package which had all the info on it that we needed I contacted the rep and it was good to channel that anger she told me she would investigate what happened at the airport and also the room mix up I told her that our holiday was being spoiled by having to deal with these calls, she assured me she would call HQ on Monday to straighten this out, so that over, back to the hols,we spent a couple of hours at pool then DW said she was tired so she went to room to lie down, kids played a few games of pool also they beat me pretty good at it about 5pm we changed and went to US to ride the mummy without mummy, what can I say awesome it was great kids got a few souvenirs at gift shop which took a long time as couple in front had a problem with hotel card and only 1 till on plenty of staff now as I am a manager of a store I saw no reason why we could not be served while a member of staff dealt with these customers but we had to wait nearly 15 mins and no apology for the wait sorry but thatís bad customer service it costs nothing to be polite because of this wait we only rode mummy once as we had a table at the Latin quarter booked for 7.30pm so off we went to change and wake DW
Latin quarter was good but not as good as expected we where seated quickly and service was quick way too quick still eating first course as they laid main course, it was not a big table it curtailed the enjoyment trying to move at the table I had Giant Shrimp good, then skirt steak which was big and tasty, DW shared chicken nachos with kids and had chicken fajitas, DS had fish & chips, DD had burger, for desert the kids shared chocolate cake which we had to ask for twice I had Brulee, for drinks I had a little Havana cocktail which was delicious kids & wife had soft drinks which where not refilled overall $90 after discount food very nice but service lousy I left 15% tip but sorry I am fed up with poor service in states because server and cab drivers know u tip no matter what its really not customer service in my book a tip should be for good service okay enough said, after dinner we went a wandering around city walk then back to room welcome gift of wine & nuts there we watched a little TV then off to the land of nod

Day two
We stilll had pastries from day before so after showers etc and breakfast off we headed for IOA it was another warm day already touching 70 and only 9am we walked on the hulk 2nd row then 2nd time front row walk on basically we had done IOA by 10.30 am and not used our key cards yet it was very quiet we headed to US we did shrek,jimmy then the mummy we had not told DW about how this ride was so as not to spoil it for her, she liked the ride although I think the gift shop was a hit as well, we rode mummy twice then we did Jaws my DD makes this ride a must she is scared of it but after a few teases she always rides once ,we had a pretty good captain she took us in pretty close to the wreck made it more fun although I did give DD into trouble because she almost slid off seat in fright, then we hit MIB just under 500,000 for me rest of family well lets not dwell although we still made agents (prob due to yours truly) after that bought souvenir cup for juice & cheap refills(will not bore u with DD who is trying to spend the third word debt) we headed back to the hotel for pool time as it was warm the pool area was not that busy kids loved playing in the pool DW made a reservation for the spa that night at PBH about 4pm me & DS went back to US for a few rides and I sampled a happy hour beer at Finneganís after a couple times on mummy we headed back so DW would make her appointment while I watched the kids, so we met up with wife and all went to PBH kids played pool at thirsty fish I sat outside with beer and just chilled, but new info they had a gondola with gondolier for hire at PBH $20 per adult kids free half hour trip round the bay we never did it as kids wanted fed after DW had her massage so we never tried it although it did look cool and very romantic, we got the boat to city walk and ate in Nascar we all had burgers food was good and reasonablely priced, we had a walk around city walk then back to room paid for a movie then off to sleep
Tuesday let DW have a long lie so I took the kids after breakfast we headed to IOA after an hour or so we had done all the rides we did front of row on DD it was amazing my daughter was as white as a ghost the park was empty by 10 15am we had done Hulk 3 times, Dr Doom 1 time, Spidey twice and DD twice and we never used FOTL, when we went back to room my wife was up & dressed so we decided to get a taxi to Wal-Mart for supplies and also my wife and daughter wanted to shop, so off we headed we shopped at the other stores there then had lunch at McDonalds(u will start to see my family can shop) we got back to the hotel about 2pm so after dumping bags off to the pool we headed. Kids managed to get me on the ship play area I was soaked we stayed at the pool for rest of afternoon as we knew weather was going to go bad at the weekend my wife headed up to room for a rest so I played the kids at a game (I really should pick a better game I was terrible) as we had to pack tonight we decided on a take away from flippers and an in room movie which I fell asleep during tomorrow was DD birthday at DC so we where all looking forward to that
Day Four
We all got up early about 7am after giving daughter her presents and cards from home I called valet to get a cab ordered we where at DC for 8am weather forecast was great for today hitting 80 clear skies couldnít believe our luck, I had booked the birthday package via email in December for DD she did not know this so I paid for that at check-in DC was great it was our second time there and it was as good as the first our Dolphin was great very friendly and when she brought my DD her birthday buoy it was very special in my DD words the best birthday ever after lunch we just sunbathed while kids played in pool about 3pm we went back to restaurant as unknown to my DD there was a cake for her and it was pretty huge but as we where all still pretty stuffed from lunch we just arranged to pick it up at reception as leaving we stayed in DC till about 4.30pm then we had a cab called and it was back to hotel to change for dinner as we had reservation at Tchoup Tchoup for 6.45pm, when we returned to the hotel the kids headed for the pool area as they had made a couple of friends yesterday at the pool, we had a message on our voicemail asking us to contact the front desk manager so off we went it turned out that it was now arranged we could stay at RPR for the full of our vacation, now after all the hassle etc this was not as good news as it should have been as it meant we had to yet again rearrange our plans also we had repacked the night before for nothing but still we where glad we where not moving although trust me its not the end of the saga wait for Fridays report on that, so after having new keys done we got kids and got ready for dinner what can I say Tchoup Tchoup was great as usual there was not one complaint to make the meal was excellent the restaurant was very busy but our servers where very attentive they even put a candle in daughters desert for her birthday and gave us all a free appetizer not much change from $200 but worth every cent after dinner we had a little walk and then we relaxed in lounge and posed for a few photos it was a great day although still canít believe my DD is now 14 boy do I feel old

Thursday I was up early so I headed down to the lounge with my book, NY Times got my coffee and that was me pretty much every morning, rest of family got up about after breakfast we headed down to get free bus to WnW as we wanted to shop on I-Drive this morning we where the only passengers on the bus after a couple hours shopping (I got a rather large bottle of Jim Bean for taking home), we ended up at Burger King for lunch then we walked back to RPR for those who are looking for a short cut u can cross the road after walking over the highway bridge and cut through bushes and u are in valet parking at RPR we found it meant it was only 10 min walk from hotel main entrance to Walgreenís on I-Drive, we where back at hotel for 1.30pm so after dumping goods we headed to pool as the kids wanted to play in pool so thatís what we did although about 4pm me and son hit USO as I wanted a beer at Finneganís and he wanted MIB & the mummy we headed back when park closed met up with the girls and after changing headed to Margaretville for dinner we ate on the porch it was great the food was excellent singer very funny and our server Father was from Scotland so we got chatting to him pretty funny as I grew up not that far from where his dad grew up as an added bonus when I used my AP for discount it came off at 20% rather than 10% special promo after dinner we walked around city walk and chilled then it was back to room for TV and bed tomorrow was forecast rain so we had decided to hit the Beltz factory

Friday forecast was rain today and boy it certainly did we got a cab to the Beltz as there wasnít much else to do today I wonít bore u all with the details of the bargains we got, we had lunch at the food court then more shopping about 4pm we decided to call it a day we had plans to dine at City Walk tonight and catch Kool & the Gang but unfortunately when we got back to our room there was message from our travel rep wondering why we where still at RPR and not AKL after a very heated discussion it turned out RPR had arranged our stay and they did inform our travel company in London who did not inform the reps in Orlando the up shot was we spoke to the front desk manager and she was very helpful at first they where going to charge us for the room for Thursday & Friday night at a reduced rate but after I pointed out that I had already spent $5000 on staying there plus flights there was no way that I should have to pay because the hotel and travel company where not communicating, the front desk manager saw my point and agreed to pay for the two nights while our agent paid for the Saturday night, also the manager asked if anyone had sent anything up for my daughters birthday this was a negative she said she would get something arranged this took up two hours of our time and by now we where not in the mood for our plans we where all too upset so we all we did was go for a walk to clear our heads and then picked up food from Jakes we watched an In-Room movie then went to bed

Edited at 06:58 PM.
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Old 13 Feb 05, 11:27 PM  
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janeywaney's Reviews
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Oh dear not the best way to deal with your holiday what an awful time you had with your reps. Shoddy customer service indeed.
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Old 16 Feb 05, 08:52 PM  
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Not what you need on holiday - hassle and stress. No wonder your DW needed a massage!

Hope it's peaceful from now on.

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Old 16 Feb 05, 10:23 PM  
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What a horrible mess they got you into! Hardly a good advert!
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