What you see isn't always what you get...
I know, the image here is not what you would associate with travel but it does capture the tone of what is going to be talked about in this and some following Blog posts. The tone here is quite simple: you don't always get the experience or benefit of a product that has been promised (and purchased) and there are some travel options right now that are guilty of misleading the consumer into buying upgrades or having to commit to exorbitant charges that were not openly posted or even explained. Even worse is that there are some new services from some suppliers of travel products and experiences that actually charge you twice to experience the benefit. All of this will be targeted today and in the coming days as I document my recent experience with some of this.
As you may read this I will be visiting one of the most popular destinations on the planet - Walt Disney World. My visit will cover 7 days and all 4 parks (Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot). On one of the open days I will be visiting Sea World and will also spend some quality time at Disney Springs. I will provide a brutally honest evaluation of my experiences over the course of the week and it is safe to say that some of the most devout Disney fans may take offense to this information but we all know the saying, "sometimes the truth hurts." I will start this series off with my initial experience of travel to Orlando and my initial check-in experience. Every post will include the low points, high points, and everything in between with the sole intent of bringing clear reality to the forefront before you decide to commit your hard earned money towards a Disney vacation experience.
Departure day started just like any other day of travel where you have to stand in endless lines in an airport to get through baggage check-in, TSA screening, and the boarding gate chaos that we all love so much. I can honestly say that the Airline in my case was not the issue and the TSA did the best they could. The main reason that this chaos exists is due to your fellow travelers and their personal belief that they are more important than anyone else and that they are entitled to be the first to board every single time. If you are one of those people and you are reading this right now here is some advice from a Professional Travel Advisor: you are no more important than anyone else standing around you and you are not entitled to ANYTHING aside from being able to get onto the plane and sit in the seat that you have on your boarding pass. Your next entitlement is to be able to get off that plane at the next destination and continue on down the road. You are NOT entitled to be demanding, demeaning, or any other rude, abusive, negative, or aggressive action. We have all purchased the same thing that you have and we can't all be the top dog here. Get over yourself and act like a responsible human being and adult.
My issues began as I arrived in Orlando and everything was preventable. As so many travelers do, I used the latest technological advancements that Disney has put together for their visitors to do their check-in online and to make everything as smooth as possible. Well, they failed! My room was not ready, at 7:00PM mind you, which meant that I had to visit the main desk upon arrival at my Resort to find out what the issue was. The front desk cast member that I worked with went out of her way to find out what was going wrong because she couldn't understand why this was happening. The end result was that a previous guest in the room that had been assigned to me had apparently been a total sub-human organism and the room could no longer be used by any guests for awhile (again, here we go with the trending issue of people not acting properly in society and making things terrible for everyone else around them). I was assigned to a new room and we moved on. However, I had reserved and paid for a Preferred Room with a King bed and was moved to a Preferred Room with 2 Queen beds with no adjustments made to the rate that I paid. Although this initial hiccup was somewhat corrected it should have never happened and this is the direct result of the housekeeping and maintenance department not communicating with the front desk when there needs to be a change in room assignments. The front desk associate was great and she should be commended for her loyalty to providing the guests with the services and experiences that are the Disney mantra.
I will leave you on this note for now and will return with my next post about my experience while visiting the Animal Kingdom park. See you then.
Hello, my name is Richard and I am your Certified Travel Professional. I have had the fortune of being able to see a very large part of the world over the years and I know the feeling of joy when you experience a vacation that is stress free. The topics posted here will focus on those little things or bits of information that can help you enjoy travel the same way that I do.
(207) 693-7R. P. Hardie Travel
Richard P. Hardie II - CCC, VTA
Independent Travel Associate of Incentive Connection Travel, Inc.
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