After writing yesterday’s post, I continued clicking around on the internet to see if there was any way I could further decrease the cost of our Universal Orlando trip. Very few clicks resulted in an answer–yes, there absolutely was a way. How? By changing resorts.
Now, this was obvious to me from the very start–after all, we were staying on-site at Universal, and at the most expensive of the three resorts, Portofino Bay Hotel:
It’s supposed to look like an Italian fishing village. In…Orlando.
As I’ve already discussed, this was my husband’s decision. He wanted to stay on property for a number of reasons, all convenience-related. But yesterday I discovered that if we switched to a different on-site resort, we could save over $400 from what we originally booked–using the annual pass rate. I then set about convincing him to make the switch.
I showed him videos of the other resort–Royal Pacific Resort–online. I showed him photos, like this one:
Doesn’t a tropical theme make more sense? I think it does.
I explained to him the concept of pool hopping, proximity to the parks, and how important it was to me to save money. Nothing worked. At least not until we changed the subject to our not-yet-planned summer trip.
During dinner–which I cleverly planned at his favorite pub (who am I kidding–all pubs, as long as they serve wings, are his favorite!)–I told him that he got to pick where we went on our summer vacation. My stipulation was that it had to be a cruise, because cruises are inexpensive (relatively speaking) and relaxing (unless you are traveling with me and I have a clipboard and a netbook). He then announced that he’d go on any cruise…as long as it left from Amsterdam.
Now, cruises don’t leave from Amsterdam. Well, actually, river cruises do, and while that’s number seven on my travel dream list, there’s just no budget for that any time soon. But he conceded that he’d be fine with just spending a week in Amsterdam–no cruise needed. He got very excited about this idea, and started listing off the things we didn’t get to do when we were there that he wants to do on a return trip (though the pastry shop with the apple turnovers was also on the list) He concluded with ‘and we can stay at that same hotel as last time’. At which point I grabbed the opportunity to point out one interesting fact–the amount we’d save by simply changing Universal Orlando resorts would pay for FIVE NIGHTS at that particular Amsterdam hotel (The Convent Hotel, if anyone is wondering. I reviewed it here.)
I’m happy to report that the change has been made. ‘Cheaper’ tropical resort has been booked, and insanely expensive Italian fishing village resort has been canceled. I feel so much better already.
Oh–and for those of you dying to know–there’s a near zero percent chance that we’ll actually be returning to Amsterdam this summer. I squashed that dream rather quickly, after a brief survey of flight prices. He’s since selected Northern California as his runner up choice (note the obvious lack of CRUISE), though even that may be out of reach this year…but we shall see.
As I write this, I realize that I’ve not written my typical ‘here are our travel plans’ posts for my next two…er, three…trips. So stay tuned for posts on the mother’s day Disney extravaganza, more details on this trip–the long weekend with the husband at Universal–and hints about super-secret mission impossible solo research trip I’ve been planning for over a month now.