Fall 2018 Trip Preview

It’s (almost) time for another vacation! We feel like we deserve one after the summer we’ve had.

This time the focus isn’t really Walt Disney World. Well, there really is no focus to this trip because we’re doing a little bit of everything!

This trip’s agenda includes:

  • 4 nights at Walt Disney World, staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • 5 night cruise sailing out of Tampa on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas to Cozumel and Grand Cayman
  • 2 nights at Universal to attend Halloween Horror Nights, staying at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort


This will be our third time staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, but the first since all of the rooms were renovated. We love Pop Century – it was my first Disney resort and where we honeymooned back in 2010.

It’ll make it easier to take this photo, since we’ve done this photo op on practically every trip since then.

We only have 3 day park hopper tickets – which is sad since last time we were annual pass holders. (Oh how the mighty have fallen.) We were only going to do 2 day park hopper tickets but added the third day when we realized we couldn’t skip Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and one of our most favorite rides, Expedition Everest. We’ll also be hitting up Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the first time. We’ll try to pack as much as we can in those 3 park days. We’ll catch up on sleep on the cruise!

New for us this trip: Toy Story Land, eating at Biergarten in Epcot, and… getting to hang out with other people! We’ve always gone to Walt Disney World just the two of us, and on this trip we are actually getting to meet up with Richard and Erica, who last year took a very awesome Disney cruise to Alaska. We also have meals planned at Ohana and Boma (my favorite restaurant anywhere) along with Biergarten. Can’t beat those 3 all-you-can-eat restaurants.

After those whirlwind days, we’ll then drive to Tampa to board Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas for a 5-night cruise. We debated which cruise to go on – which one fit our schedule, prices, etc. and this one won out. (Others in the running was a 4-night cruise to Cuba on Majesty of the Seas, and a Caribbean cruise on the mega ship Oasis of the Seas.) Oasis of the Seas is still very much on my bucket list, but if we did that cruise that would be the end of our vacation, with no time to do anything else. And I have another bucket list item to check off on this particular vacation.

The ship will stop in Grand Cayman and Cozumel, with 2 days at sea. (The first sea day is actually my birthday, so I need to see what I can get into on that day.) In Grand Cayman we are visiting dolphins and sea turtles, and hopefully eating at a vegan restaurant. In Cozumel we have an excursion planned that tours the island, visits Mayan ruins, and stops for an hour or so at a beach. We also plan to eat at a Mexican restaurant on our own.

This is our second cruise with Royal Caribbean, and I expect it to be just as great as our first cruise on Freedom of the Seas. I’ve also recently graduated with my Master of Adventure degree from Royal Caribbean University. I’d love to talk Royal Caribbean with you and book your next cruise with them! 😀

After the cruise we then head back to Orlando to stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. I’m so excited to stay here! I love the 60s theme, and it’s a little reminiscent of Disney’s Pop Century Resort as well.

This is where I mention my other bucket list item – attending Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. I’ve wanted to go for well over a decade. On our honeymoon in October 2010 we were there at a time we could have gone to Halloween Horror Nights, but it wasn’t in our budget. This year Universal Studios had a 2-for-1 sale, as in buy one HHN ticket for one night get the 2nd night free (as long as it wasn’t on a Saturday). So we’ll get to attend HHN twice. I purchased the express pass for us on the 2nd night, which is a Friday. We do not have day passes to get into the parks, so during the day we’ll visit the other Universal resorts and hang out at Cabana Bay and Universal CityWalk.

We will be able to go on some rides at Universal during HHN, which is great since we’re big fans of The Mummy ride, and we’ll get to ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts again since we’ve only gotten to ride that one once.

And hopefully get some Butterbeer!

I’m looking forward to this vacation because it’s different than what we’ve been doing lately. I’m so excited to be going on another cruise as well. (Our first cruise was on the Disney Dream, and the second on Freedom of the Seas as I’ve mentioned.)


September 4, 2018

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