Marisha Gordon is one of our Marvelous Mouse agents and is located in the Orlando area! She gives a a fun look at one of her recent dates at Universal City Walk!
Have you ever taken a date to a theme park?! No kids. No other family or friends. It might seem weird at first, but it’s one of my favorite things to do. My husband and I leave the kids home with a babysitter and go sneak over to the park by ourselves to enjoy the bigger rides and a quiet meal together.
For this particular date, we decided to visit The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen. It’s located in City Walk, so no theme park ticket is required. There are 3 main sections to the restaurant. When you first enter, you can shop fresh candy, packaged snacks to take home, merchandise and toothsome branded items. To the left of the entrance is a small seating section with a walk up counter. You can order milkshakes and sundaes here. The milkshakes are unique and shareable! In the back is the sit down dining room where a full service menu is available including the milkshakes and sundaes.
The restaurant is Steampunk themed and if you’re lucky, you might even meet Penelope Tibeaux-Tinker Toothsome, the creator of the restaurant. She roams about meeting guests with her side kick robot friend, Jacques.
It’s definitely one of the most unique restaurants in the area and the food is delicious. It’s a great date night eatery or a nice place to come after a long day in the theme parks. Have you been? Let me know in the comments your favorite plate from the restaurant. Or what you’re most excited to try!
Haleakala means House of the Sun and has been a sunrise visitor attraction since Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) wrote “It was the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed, and I think the memory of it will remain with me always”.
Sunrise and Sunset are extremely popular and beautiful times to visit. A sunrise visit requires a reservation 60 days before you arrive. Sunset does not require reservations. These can also be the busiest times at the park.
The weather is highly unpredictable, especially at Sunrise. Dressing in layers is suggested. When I went, it was the middle of the day, however we did see the temperature change from the base to the summit as we drove.
We enjoyed the drive to the summit, stopping many times to take short hikes/walks and to see the landscape. The summit (over 10,000 feet) was amazing and the view were spectacular! It was mid-afternoon and quite warm on the day in late October, when we visited. Thankfully there was parking, as it can be limited during peak seasons and times.
This is part of the US National Park system and the entrance fees work like many other parks. Typically, it’s a single fee per vehicle. However, the entrance has limited staffing so there are self-pay machines which accept credit card only.
The park typically offers free fee days a couple of time a year! Check the website for more information.
Official National Parks Website: https://www.nps.gov/hale/
There are many tours that include Haleakala such as a Sunrise Bike Tour or Helicopter tour. Your Marvelous Mouse Travels Planner can assist with planning your Hawaii vacation!
Thank you to our Marvelous Mouse agent Karen Fitting for sharing her experience at Haleakala National Park!
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Reopening Review
We enjoyed short wait times, characters showing up at random times either on a stage/a balcony or in a cavalcade. Social distancing was enforced and well marked. If there was a snake in the line, plexi-glass was installed so you weren’t on top of anyone. On rides, rows were kept empty between different parties like you see on the Small World boats in the collage. For shows, rows were marked “closed,” and seats were marked between parties. See image below at the Carousel of Progress. Speaking of a carousel, see the collage to the left? The Cast Member between the horses is spraying every horse and pole/handle down between rides.
Seeing characters, like the County Bears, was such a fun treat. I have only seen them in the show (Animatronics) or in special parades, so for them to just appear was a great way to get that Disney magic we all crave.
We took advantage of these areas!!
Thank you Jen McGurn for this inside look at Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas!
The Grandeur sails out of Baltimore, making it a great option for residents of
Maryland and Pennsylvania who want to cruise while avoiding the added
expensive of a flight.
While the Grandeur of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s older and smaller
ships, she is still a beauty!
Throughout my tour, I was able to see every Stateroom category. We started with
the 1 and 2 Bedroom Suites and let me tell you, these are stunning!
At 1,119 square feet, the Royal Suite has 1 Bedroom, a whirlpool tub, Private
balcony and a baby grand piano!
The 2 Bedroom Grand Suite sleeps 8 and offers 2 Bathrooms and Private Balcony. From the Junior Suites and Balcony Cabins to Oceanview and Interior staterooms, there is something for every budget and every need!
As with all ships, there is no shortage of complimentary dining options.
The ships main dining room, Gatsby’s, is absolutely beautiful. Gatsby’s serves
breakfast lunch and dinner.
Windjammer is the ship’s buffet dining option and serves global cuisine for all
Grandeur of the Seas is home to three of Royal Caribbean’s most popular
speciality dining options.
Izumi Asian Cuisine offers sushi and hibachi in a beautiful setting reminiscent of
a Japanese Garden.
Giovanni’s Table serves Italian Family style meals with a contemporary flair.
Lastly is the very popular, Chops Grille. Chops is a signature steakhouse with the
only dry-aged steaks at sea.
While I wouldn’t recommend this ship for family’s with adventurous teens or tweens, it is a great option for young family, older adults or couples taking a kids-free vacation. There is plenty to do at any time day or night.
The ship offers complimentary Kid’s Clubs with a wide variety of activities for
kids of all ages. There is also a nursery for the youngest sailors. The nursery
does charge a nominal fee.
During the day, families can lounge at the pool and adults can enjoy the adults
only solarium. This area has a pool, 2 hot tubs, a retractable glass ceiling and a
bar of its own.
In the evening, you can enjoy broadway style shows, the Casino Royale, dance parties, and 8 bars and lounges.
Of course, one of the best parts of a cruise is where it takes you. Grandeur of the
Seas has some amazing itineraries! She sails to Bermuda, the Bahamas and
Canada/New England. Select sailings also include a stop at Royal Caribbean’s
completely renovated CoCo Cay!
So hopefully this blog entry has you dreaming of sailing away on either the
Grandeur of the Seas, or another beautiful ship when they return to service!
So, have you sailed with Royal Caribbean? Do you have a favorite ship?