Chit Chat

Help me book a trip!!

WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
Ok, so we're terrible with decisions, and aren't really sure what we want to do, so that doesn't help.  We've got a few options, and they're all pretty similar in pricing, and we're looking for 6-8 days.  Here are the options for going somewhere hot:

1. Secrets in Mexico (south Pacific side)
- Pros - AI, so nothing to think of, lots of relaxation sitting by the pool/on the beach
- Cons - DH isn't keen on Mexico as we've been a few times, but we'll be in the resort most of the time.  

2. Maui
- Pros - new island for us, so can do some beach, some exploring
- Cons - on our own for food, 6 days, not 7, we're thinking of going in the summer to explore 2-3 islands, so we could always just do it then

3. Florida (with cruise)
- Pros - take a 3-4 day cruise to the Caribbean, so we get relaxing pool breaks at sea, see some new Caribbean islands, spend the other days either in Harry Potter land or driving the Keys
- Cons - on our own for food, lots of driving and exploring so less relaxing

4. Florida (HP land and the Keys)
- Pros - more time to explore, possibly 2 days in HP land (I've been wanting to go forever if you hadn't clued in)
- Cons - same as above, lots of kids in HP land so crazy gong show there.  


We've done both relaxing and exploring trips before, so we're open to both.  Not sure which we'd prefer here.  Has anyone been to the Keys??  Suggestions on number of days or what to see??  We've been wanting to do that drive for a while too.  And remember that I'm way up in Canada, so all of these places will be fabulously warm in the middle of winter.  


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Re: Help me book a trip!!

  • I'm getting married in the Keys (living a few hours north). It's AMAZING and I'm so excited. If you've ever been to mainland Florida, it's basically like a different country. It's a beautiful drive from the mainland down as well. If you go, the butterfly sanctuary is awesome, and certain nights of the week there's a street festival. And of course the Hemingway House (our venue!). It's really great even just for wandering around, visiting shops and seeing cool architecture.

    I've also been to the new HP area. I went a few weeks after opening and it honestly wasn't that bad. Crowd control has greatly improved since they opened up the new area. I'd suggest going on a weekday when local schools are in session. Just be prepared for decent lines on the Gringotts ride.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    image
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I've only been to Disney, twice for competition.  Never even left the grounds as all athletes are housed on site.  So I haven't seen much of mainland Florida either.  Florida to me is one big theme park, which is actually pretty awesome in my head.  
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    dolewhipper
  • Haha well if you can swing it, I'd stay at one of the Universal-owned hotels. They allow you to get into Wizarding World an hour early. If you want to do Disney, I could give you some tips there as well!

    I wouldn't say it's one giant theme park here, but we do get some gorgeous sunsets and weather...when it's not oppresively humid. The good part is everything is pretty easy to get to. Most things worth seeing are right off I-4, 75, or 95.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    image
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Good to know about Florida.  I only say it's like a giant theme park cos I've only ever been in Disney there.  I know there's more to it though.  I don't think we'd do Disney though, having done it the last 2 times.  We'll look into the Universal hotels too, if we decide to go.  
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • Before I moved here I didn't know anything about it besides Disney either, lol.

    What cruise line would you go with if you went with Option 3? We went on our first cruise earlier this year, with Princess.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    image
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We've only done 1 as well, and also with Princess, so I'd like to try and stick with them.  We actually found a 7 day as well as a 3 + 4 day (same ship, so we'd just chill at the pool while everyone else packed up, left and the new crew got unpacked), but those would axe any other sightseeing.  It's become just a cruise trip instead.  

    Where did you go??  We did the Eastern Med.  
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm getting married in the Keys (living a few hours north). It's AMAZING and I'm so excited. If you've ever been to mainland Florida, it's basically like a different country. It's a beautiful drive from the mainland down as well. If you go, the butterfly sanctuary is awesome, and certain nights of the week there's a street festival. And of course the Hemingway House (our venue!). It's really great even just for wandering around, visiting shops and seeing cool architecture.

    I've also been to the new HP area. I went a few weeks after opening and it honestly wasn't that bad. Crowd control has greatly improved since they opened up the new area. I'd suggest going on a weekday when local schools are in session. Just be prepared for decent lines on the Gringotts ride.
    OMG, you're getting married at the Hemingway House?! That's fucking incredible! 

    I had a stop in Key West on a cruise when I was 19. I don't remember a ton of it because I went almost 13 years ago, but it was awesome. I rented a bike and took a little tour around the island, wandered the beach, and hit the big tourist-y things like the southernmost point. 

    And, I mean, seriously, HP world!! I've been dying to go for years. That would be my pick for sure.
  • Is the HP park really crazy with kids? Everyone I know who wants to go or has been is an adult who grew up with the books like me. I think I only know one kid who's even read/watched the series.
    image
  • Isn't HP world inside Islands of Adventure?  If you go there, you should plan to explore the whole park.  I'd go ahead and do Universal too, then enjoy City Walk at night.  Orlando feels like theme park world because you can make a week-long vacation of just visiting parks.  Disney has the fast pass or ride reservation thing; not sure about the Universal Parks, but I'm sure there is something you can do to mitigate the lines.  I have family in Orlando, so they usually hook us up with some type of VIP/backdoor pass deal when we do the parks.




    image
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I just assume every theme park is crazy with kids
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    lurkergirl
  • I just assume every theme park is crazy with kids
    Yes, they really are.  Lots of meltdowns and temper tantrums happen in theme parks!




    image
    WinstonsGirl
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I love love love Key West. But I would choose Maui. I always opt for somewhere new.

  • I adore the Keys.  Because frozen key lime pie dipped in chocolate... on a stick.  Drool. 
    Plus the diving//snorkeling is amazing.  It's definitely a great place for a HM, especially if you've never been.  Hell, we consider it a great place for Thanksgiving!
    image
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    All the places would be new for us, so that's good.  Is 2 full days and a day to drive back to Ft. Lauderdale enough time to see the keys??  I'm thinking maybe we grab a hotel half way, do the upper Keys on day 1, lower keys day 2 and drive back for the cruise day 3.  I do really want to scuba the underwater national park out there, but other than that, we have no idea about what to see/do other than drive all the bridges!!
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • We've only done 1 as well, and also with Princess, so I'd like to try and stick with them.  We actually found a 7 day as well as a 3 + 4 day (same ship, so we'd just chill at the pool while everyone else packed up, left and the new crew got unpacked), but those would axe any other sightseeing.  It's become just a cruise trip instead.  

    Where did you go??  We did the Eastern Med.  
    We went on a Caribbean cruise. We stopped at Cozumel and Grand Cayman. I'm pretty sure it was a 5 day cruise, on the Ruby Princess.

    I don't remember HP world being too nuts with kids. The main attractions are pretty intense. If you do go, definitely get a two-park pass so you can ride the Hogwarts Express.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    image
    WinstonsGirl
  • All the places would be new for us, so that's good.  Is 2 full days and a day to drive back to Ft. Lauderdale enough time to see the keys??  I'm thinking maybe we grab a hotel half way, do the upper Keys on day 1, lower keys day 2 and drive back for the cruise day 3.  I do really want to scuba the underwater national park out there, but other than that, we have no idea about what to see/do other than drive all the bridges!!
    Sure, you can do the Keys in 2 days.  It all depends on how you do it.  If you want to dive the park (especially Christ of the Abyss), you can pick up tanks/gear at a local shop and do it on your own time.  There are some great dive charters there, too.  The Spiegel Grove is an amazing dive if you like wrecks/somewhat deep.  Our favorite charter company is Conch Republic in the upper keys.  A two-tank dive will take up a good chunk of your day.  A good thing to remember is that although it's not far to Key West, the drive is much longer than you'd think it should be.  We drove out there for dinner one night and I was STARVING by the time we got there.
    image
  • When are you going? I've been to HP world twice, neither time was too busy, but we went in the off season. Also where are you located? I live on the east coast, so for me, I wouldn't want to fly all the way to Hawaii for just 6 days. If you are the west coast then it would be more something I would consider.

    I've been to Maui and Key West. They are just so different. The beaches in Key West are terrible, so keep that in mind. Maui has so much to do. It's not my favorite island in Hawaii, but if you want a lot of outdoor activities, good beaches, and some really unique experiences, Maui is good for you. The snorkeling and swimming is far superior on Maui.

    I loved loved loved Key West. I love that you can walk everywhere, it has a different culture than any other place I've been to. We had amazing food there, though it can be pricey. Just all around, it has a great vibe. I haven't been to the other Keys, so I don't know about those, and we flew directly there.

    image
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm in western Canada, so both are long flights, though I think Hawaii is technically closer.  And we'd be going during a school break, so everything will be crazy anyway with kids off too.  No off season travel for me ever.  :(  

    We love Hawaii, and we'v both been to Oahu numerous times.  DH has done the Big Island for a few days too.  I worry that with only 6 days in Maui, taking 1 long day to do the Road to Hana leaves not a lot of extra time for other things and will feel rushed.  We've already talked about doing 2-3 islands this summer when it's "cheaper" to do more exploring versus beach stuff, so Maui might be better then.  

    DH said he wanted to go somewhere, so I asked him to plan it.  I said I was happy to go hot, to go skiing or to stay home.  I figured he wouldn't plan anything.  Well, he started, dragged me into it and has no stopped while I started looking and researching  different places and prices.  I really wanted to avoid that side I feel like I plan all of our trips.    
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • Have you considered St. Augustine?  It's beachy, historical, and a lot closer to Orlando than the keys.  It won't be bathing suit level warm in the middle of winter, but it should still be nice and mild.  The panhandle also has great beaches, but I wouldn't recommend it if you're trying to stay warm on a winter vacation.




    image
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Have you considered St. Augustine?  It's beachy, historical, and a lot closer to Orlando than the keys.  It won't be bathing suit level warm in the middle of winter, but it should still be nice and mild.  The panhandle also has great beaches, but I wouldn't recommend it if you're trying to stay warm on a winter vacation.
    Haven't heard of it, so no.  I'll look into it though.  And everything in Florida is hot in the winter.  We've already hit -40C up here, so 20C is totally beach weather at this point.  :D
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    lurkergirljenna8984
  • Have you considered St. Augustine?  It's beachy, historical, and a lot closer to Orlando than the keys.  It won't be bathing suit level warm in the middle of winter, but it should still be nice and mild.  The panhandle also has great beaches, but I wouldn't recommend it if you're trying to stay warm on a winter vacation.
    Haven't heard of it, so no.  I'll look into it though.  And everything in Florida is hot in the winter.  We've already hit -40C up here, so 20C is totally beach weather at this point.  :D
    It's our nation's oldest city!  St. Augustine has the history, then Ponte Vedra has the beaches.  Might not quite hit that 20C mark in the dead of winter.  It's nothing like The Cold North (for real...isn't -40 around the point where C and F intersect?  I can't even fathom that type of cold!), but northern Florida can definitely see freezing temps in the winter months.




    image
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ok, so I just googled it.  We're not getting anywhere that far north in Florida if we go.  Orlando will be the furthest.  And yes, I think -42 is where F/C connect.  It was really only -30C and the wind chill brought it down to -40ish.  I just bundle up.  I still walk to work though.  
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • Ok, so I just googled it.  We're not getting anywhere that far north in Florida if we go.  Orlando will be the furthest.  And yes, I think -42 is where F/C connect.  It was really only -30C and the wind chill brought it down to -40ish.  I just bundle up.  I still walk to work though.  
    LOL I love you you qualify your statement like it actually makes a difference. 

    Seriously, when the polar vortex brought our temps to 5F (-15C) they closed down the schools because diesel engines on the buses wouldn't start.  I took a temperature of my thermometer and posted it on FB (yeah...I am that person when it comes to weather stuff) because I couldn't remember ever having seen temps that low before.  That is how much I truly can't imagine that cold.




    image
    WinstonsGirl
  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Ok, so I just googled it.  We're not getting anywhere that far north in Florida if we go.  Orlando will be the furthest.  And yes, I think -42 is where F/C connect.  It was really only -30C and the wind chill brought it down to -40ish.  I just bundle up.  I still walk to work though.  
    LOL I love you you qualify your statement like it actually makes a difference. 


    Oh, it makes a difference.  It SO makes a difference.  Last winter we had some days where it was in the -30s, but with windchill it felt like the -50s.  I'm super warm-blooded and can do with just a sweater as long as it's above -30.  But -50 is just stupid.
    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
    WinstonsGirl
  • Isn't HP world inside Islands of Adventure?  If you go there, you should plan to explore the whole park.  I'd go ahead and do Universal too, then enjoy City Walk at night.  Orlando feels like theme park world because you can make a week-long vacation of just visiting parks.  Disney has the fast pass or ride reservation thing; not sure about the Universal Parks, but I'm sure there is something you can do to mitigate the lines.  I have family in Orlando, so they usually hook us up with some type of VIP/backdoor pass deal when we do the parks.
    HP world spans both parks of course. Hogsmeade is in Island of Adventure and then Diagon Alley is in Universal Studios. Then, as one of the PP's said, you need a pass to both parks to ride the Hogwarts express. Universal does have a fastpass type thing. My H and I went for part of our honeymoon and paid like $100 for a full day, any time pass. It was great.
    WinstonsGirllurkergirl
  • dolewhipperdolewhipper [wh]orlando member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    WinstonsGirl. I would totally recommend a 2 night stay at a Universal on site hotel (for the unlimited express, just be aware the Cabana Bay is the only hotel that doesn't include the pass) and a 2 day Park to Park pass. Currently they are giving the 3rd day of park entry for free with free cover to the clubs in City Walk.


    imageimage



    WinstonsGirl
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards