Promised myself i would try a TR this visit so here goes.
Travelling myself, DH, DS(18) DS(22)+GF(21) 5th visit. plusour friends and their DD(13) AND DS(17) -all newbies.
fly with virgin staying in 7 bed villa in Emerald Island.
we set off on thursday evening by train to Gatwick. missed bag drop by 10 mins so we had to keep luggage till next morning which wasnt a prob as we had already checked in online. Stayed at the Hilton with 3 course buffet incl in price. was fine the buffet was good quality and hot. we had booked a quad, triple and double rooms. Double room was lovely but other two a little dated and friends said the family room bunks squeeked all night when kids moved.(prefer Sofitel). Up at 9am next morning did bag drop at 10 there was no queue and through security in 10 mins. i had booked us into A1 lounge which was great as usual had a bacon sandwich and a few drinks well worth the £12 each we paid as were in there for around 3 hrs. Virgin flight was delayed 45mins which we werent too fussed about at the time but later turned out to be a bit of a pain. The flight itself was great really. No turbulance, food surprisingly good. salad, bangers and mash or macaroni cheese and choc pudding. we landed at 6pm to complete chaos in immigration. took us 2 1/2 hours to get to baggage collect. A member of staff said it was due to our flight arriving late and that passengers from another flight were being held on the plane as no room in immigration for them. Anyways we made it through tired and hungry collected car super quick from budget carpark. so glad i filled in the online details as all desk queues were huge!!!
called for a mc D's on way to villa as all starving. Villa in Emerald Island is lovely. Only a couple of niggles but on the whole totally adequate. Our friends love it. plenty of room for us all as 7 beds.
Did a quick trip to Publix for alcohol and breakfast stuff and fell into bed round midnight.
1st full day - woke up to rain, so we went to kill a couple of hrs in wallmart and did a big shop. had lunch in villa till sun came out then headed to Blizzard beach which was amazingly quiet because of the weather and its last few days before refurb. Did everything with no queues. DD at night for shopping and a lovely meal at Rainforest Cafe. $180 for 5 of us incl tip.
2nd day - Chilled around the pool then headed to US at lunch time. purchased stay and scream tickets for HHN at just under $40 each. The Park was amazingly quiet all afternoon and night. Did everthing except disaster and simpsons before we were put in holding pen for HHN. We were led to the 1st house around 5:45pm and by 8:30 we had done all houses, scare zones rides and 1 show. amazing night so funny. Had a scream ... lol. Made all the better because no crowds at all. headed back to villa and ordered a Dominos. (sunny all day)
3rd day - woke up to very heavy rain and a decorated villa for halloween, while we slept our friends had put bugs etc everywhere. headed to Premium Outlets till lunch. productive trip incl. uggs from journeys. $149.99 (short sand) + protection pack $20. Sun came out so we stuck to our itinery and headed to Seaworld where once again it was very quiet. in 3 1/2 hours we had done rides numerous times, all walk on, seen dolphin, clyde and seamore and whale shows plus got to see a decent amount of exhibits. Ate at TGIs at night $180 incl tip for 9 0f us. was very good.
4th day (today) - Suns out. Been to Typhoon Lagoon today had a lovely day everything was walk on again, Played disney winter summerland minigolf then ate at Longhorn. Half of us loved our meals and half not keen. $245 incl tip for 9.
We are heading to IOA in morning for harry potter. sooo looking forward to it. Our friends are loving every minute of the hol. and are amazed by everything. I love seeing everything through their eyes as newbies.
before i sign out for the night , we are spending what seems like a lot on our evening meals and just wondered where would be a cheaper alternative for us and our steak loving friends to eat. Also which buffet would you recommend for a half decent bit of steak and some chicken. I am trying to save a few extra $$$ on our meals as there is so much i want to buy in he shops.