The last night of a cruise is not usually a great night of sleep for me. I usually feel nervous about missing my alarm or the upcoming travel today. The inside cabin helped with the darkness although I did have to remove the empty hangers from the closet around one as the ship was making them clang together. Chris usually bungees them together but I just quickly removed them and put on the floor. The alarm woke us so we could dress and finish packing before breakfast. We were meeting our friends to have one last breakfast as soon as the dining room opened at 6:30.
I knew what I was going to order with out perusing the menu, the masala dosa. To my surprise, Ammie and her daughter both ordered it as well. It was just as good as the first time I had it. Everyone enjoyed their last breakfast and typically I have found on my last cruises that breakfast the last day can be lacking.
We said our goodbyes when we reached our cabin. It was hard to hold back tears after my bestie let some fall. I focused on the fact it is not goodbye but until next time which will be in October when we will be together again on MSC celebrating our 25th anniversary. After big hugs from all, we grabbed our luggage and headed out.
I had been listening throughout breakfast and never heard a muster station called for walk off. Plenty though had been walking off with suitcases when we returned from breakfast so we asked a crew member who said it is fine to just go. So much for all that organization and directions on the information sheet about disembarkation. Chris made two trips since the elevators were jammed to get the suitcases since we only had two flights of stairs. It was very crowded and people were dragging big suitcases. It was nerve wracking hearing the thuds behind me as I was worried someone could fall onto me from above. We made it out though and although there was a bit of a line for those with passports, it moved quickly.
We were out about fifteen minutes before our driver was due. Chris called to make sure they knew to come to terminal three. Finally, he reached the driver and he said he was almost there. We waited more and eventually it was 15 minutes after he was supposed to arrive. Chris called again and he was at the Royal Caribbean terminal. Finally, we found our driver though. It was pretty chaotic though and people were already arriving for their cruise next week. Joe and Ammie were off pretty quickly after us and they had the luggage picked up. They were out of the garage before we were even picked up!
Chris and I were both excited for our short stay at Universal. It was such a welcoming site to pull up to the Royal Pacific hotel. We have spent many fun times at this resort and were happy to be back. A big surprise was that our room was ready before ten! We happily took our bags to the room and quickly walked to the parks. Although staying at this property can be expensive, the perk of express pass makes it worth it. We knew the park would be crowded since it was a spring break Saturday so after figuring the cost of buying express and staying at a further hotel, the cost wasn’t so bad. We both love the walk to and from CityWalk as well. It is very pretty and relaxing.
Our walk however was very brisk as we were ready to hit the parks. We started with Islands of Adventure. There was still a rather large queue to get in and this was the theme of the day, crowds. We have never seen the park this crowded before. It was hard to walk with any speed through the park as it was a sea of people. Our first stop was Hogsmede to see how long the wait for Hagrid’s Motorbikes was running. It was about two hours so we went back to check the wait for Velocicoaster which was 50 minutes. Both of these rides do not have express pass available yet but are available during early entry for resort guests. We thought 50 minutes was not bad so we decided to try it. What a ride to be first! It truly might be the best coaster I have ever ridden. I’m lucky I did not choke on a bug as my jaw was dropped the whole ride. At times, I felt to scared to even scream. It was great! It was close to our lunch reservation at noon so we decided to grab a butter beer and relax after the ride. The lines were huge for butterbeer. We tried our old secret inside the Hog’s Head Tavern but the line was out the door onto the back patio. I guess it is no longer a secret. The line wasn’t moving so we went back to the carts to wait. By the time we got our drinks, we walked towards Mythos.
I am really glad I made a reservation at Mythos because they were not taking any walk ups. We had to wait about five minutes or so for a table and upon entering the dining room I have never seen it packed like this. It looked like all sections including outside were full. The menu had changed since our last trip many years ago and we were excited to try some new dishes. I ordered the hummus and Chris had the mezze platter as starters. Chris had the Brick oven roasted chicken while I had the shrimp sushi Katsu roll for my main. We enjoyed all the dishes but they weren’t as good as we remembered entrees. Plus the seats are so uncomfortable. I truly could not wait to be done as my booty was aching. I think next trip we try another restaurant.
It was time for more rides. We rode Forbidden Journey, King Kong and Spider-Man after lunch. The wait time with express was about 20-30 minutes. The regular lines were very long, one hour or more. Both of us were super glad we had Express. After Spider-Man, which has been improved since our last ride, we decided to walk over to Universal Studios to see how the crowds were there.
Our first attraction we did was a new one for us, Bourne Stuntacular. It replaced Terminator and we thought is was a good improvement. We proceeded to Men in Black which is one of our favorites. Next stop was Diagon Alley which was pretty crowded. We hopped in line for Escape from Gringott’s. The line with Express was about 30 minutes but we heard others in line during the merge point who had been waiting two hours. Yikes. After riding it, we felt it needed the update the Spider-Man received. The sound wasn’t great plus people were chatting the whole ride in the row behind us. We shouldn’t have been surprised as the queue was so crazy loud with non-stop talking. After a stroll though Knockturn Alley, Chris suggested to go inside the Leaky Cauldron for another butterbeer and a little snack. We decided to share the mini pie combination and butterbeer potted cream. Chris also ordered a sticky toffee pudding as well. The pies were as I remembered but pretty bland. I preferred the beef to the seafood. I was glad Chris snuck the sticky toffee pudding order in as that was a much better dessert. The potted cream did not have much butterbeer flavor at all. It is very boring like vanilla pudding.
With a snack in our bellies, we exited Diagon Alley and walked through the park. I reminded Chris that we have not ridden Fast and the Furious ever so we should try it. The wait was less than 20 minutes and we thought it was a fun ride with some cool technology. We decided to walk back to Islands of Adventure to see the wait for Hagrid’s Motorbikes.
It was straight to Hogsmeade and the wait was 90 minutes. We didn’t really want to ride anything else so we decided to give it a go. The queue was pretty loud like Gringott’s on the inside part. The wait was shorter and only about one hour. I let Chris have the motorbike while I took the sidecar. I had avoided reading any spoilers about these new rides for us and I was glad. What a great ride! It has plenty of surprises and it is a fast ride. The hour wait was well worth it.
We felt pretty good about our day at the park and decided to hit CityWalk and try Voodoo Doughnuts. However, it was about a 45 minute wait to order. Nope. We had walked almost ten miles and decided to walk back to the hotel to relax and have a snack. By the time we made it back, we hit over ten miles. There is a new to us snack bar in Royal Pacific. We grabbed waters and some chips. Chris had the idea to get room service. I am never one to refuse room service. There’s just something fun about it to me. We ordered wings and a pizza. I took a shower and was in my pjs before the order arrived. Our legs were tired but it was so nice eating and watching television. We watched some more television and both fell asleep way earlier than our cruise nights. The parks opened at seven for resort guest the next morning so we wanted to be in line before that so we called it a night.
We love to travel and experience new places and cultures.