Trying to plan a family vacation with thrills and relaxation? Trying to balance beach and pool time with fun adventures? Then I have the perfect family vacation idea for you. Now that Universal Orlando Resort and Royal Caribbean International have collaborated, you can enjoy the the best of land and sea and combine two amazing family vacations into one memorable experience for one package price! All you do is pick a cruise (Bahamas or Eastern/Western Caribbean cruise), choose a date to visit the Universal Orlando® Resort, and select a on- or off-site hotel. Thanks to Universal Orlando Resort and Royal Caribbean International for hosting myself and my kids on this amazing land and sea vacation so that I have the opportunity to share this experience with you. All opinions are mine and those of family. I hope you enjoy this vacation planning insight and family vacation review.
Universal Orlando Resort and Royal Caribbean Vacation Package: 2 in 1 Theme Park And Cruise Vacation
The Royal Caribbean Universal Vacation Package Includes:
- 3/4 or 7 Night Bahamas or Caribbean cruise either before or after your Universal adventure.
- 2, 3 or 4 Nights at Universal Orlando Resort™ including hotel & admission tickets to all Universal parks.
- Early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, plus free Universal Express℠ tickets on select properties to skip regular lines.
- Transfers between Universal Orlando™ and your Royal Caribbean departure port.
To learn more about the details of collaboration and book your vacation, you can visit royalcaribbean.com
Universal Orlando Resort Family Vacation Package
Part 1 of the Royal Caribbean Universal Vacation Package
First stop on our family vacation was Universal Orlando Resort which is composed of two incredible theme parks (the Universal Studios Florida and the Universal’s Islands of Adventure), four spectacular on-site hotels, and Universal CityWalk, the entertainment capital of Orlando. Woah, what a whirlwind of adventure!
Universal Orlando Resort On Site Hotel- Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
We stayed at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, (one of the four Universal Orlando Resort on-site hotels). This 750 room hotel is designed to feel like an Italian villa from architecture to decor details to fun little extras like mopeds, and Italian eateries so that you feel like you are on vacation in Italy. Nestled around a picturesque bay, you have easy access to the free water taxi over to Universal CityWalk- a fun ride! This luxurious hotel offers spacious, comfortable guest rooms with Italian decor. There are three themed swimming pools one of which is a Beach pool with sand all around the pool so your kids can make sand castles and hit the water slide and you can relax in a huge waterfall hot tub. Sweet!
You can learn more here- Loews Hotels
We took a water taxi (a free service from on-site hotels) to Universal CityWalk. That place is loaded with all of kinds of amazing shops, restaurants (like Hard Rock Cafe® Orlando, Jimmy Buffetts® Margaritaville®, Emerils® Restaurant, and Vivo Italian Kitchen) entertainment, and nightlife. We had dinner at Vivo and it was a happening place with impressive decor and homemade pastas. I tried the squid ink pasta with seafood to be adventurous and I really enjoyed it- especially those tasty shrimp.
You can learn more about Universal CityWalk here- Universal Orlando
Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure Theme Parks
We took a tour of both of the Universal Orlando Resort theme parks – Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. They are both absolutely incredible. We already knew we loved both theme parks because we had been there before. You can read a detailed account of our last family trip to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure here. But it was really fun to check out all the new things since our last visit and believe me, there was plenty that was new in just the last two years! For starters- Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express (which you can really ride between Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.) We also got to see the construction of the new King Kong attraction which looks like it is going to be amazing!!
I learned a few Universal Orlando theme parks insider tips and secrets that I wanted to share with you here:
1. Child Swap.
Universal Orlando Resort wants to help you keep your family time together but also let you enjoy all the rides. So you can wait in line as a family and then one parent can wait in the air conditioned child swap room with the underage child while the other goes on the ride with the older child(ren) and then as they come of the ride, they can wait with the underage child while you get on the ride without having to wait in line again! Pretty cool!
2. Height Certificate.
This is an awesome feature you can take advantage of while in Child Swap. The underage child gets a certificate that says when they reach the qualifying height, they can skip the line. How fun!
3. All Star Kids Character Parade.
Besides all the other attractions, there is usually a daily parade scheduled with characters like Hop, Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob Square Pants, and the Minions!
The amazing Universal Orlando Resort vacation is then followed by the amazing Royal Caribbean Cruise vacation since it is two family vacations in one with this combo package.
Royal Caribbean Freedom Of The Seas Cruise Family Vacation Package
Part 2 of the Royal Caribbean Universal Vacation Package
We have just embarked on our Royal Caribbean International Western Caribbean family cruise adventure from Port Canaveral on the newly enhanced Freedom of the Seas.
I have never been on a cruise before but all my friends have been telling me how relaxing they are and how much we will love it. So far, they are totally right. We love it and we haven’t even reached our first destination yet! While in port, we loved watching the dolphins swimming around us- such great views!
We started off with a big buffet at the WindJammer followed by exploration of the boat. Next, we stopped by Adventure Ocean to find out about the kids care and activities program. Then, we toured the spa and fitness area. We also passed by the casino and peaked in. Finally, we hit the pool to splash in every possible pool (there are so many) and every possible hot tub (there are so many) and sample the free soft serve ice cream.
Yes, we are having fun! Even typing this up is fun as the wind is gently blowing and I am enjoying the ocean views. Next on our agenda is dinner in the main dining room and a Welcome Aboard show in the Arcadia Theater.
I will blog about Day 2 aboard Freedom of the Seas tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled!
You can learn more about the Universal Orlando Resort and Royal Caribbean International collaboration or book a package here.