Our flight from Vegas left at 10:31am, and we arrived in Phoenix around 11:42am., with our next scheduled departure to Orlando at 12:15pm. The whole trip with connections took 5hr 41mins plus.
When we deplaned in Phoenix we asked for a wheelchair but instead we were taken to the next terminal on one of the mobile people carriers, and just as well because we would never have made it from terminal 1 to terminal 4 in time to catch our flight.
We flew with US Airways and as with most internal American flights there is a charge of $25 for each checked bag. No wonder so many people take large cases into the cabin with them. So we just sat back and watched people trying to shove over-sized baggage into the little overhead pockets. I always wonder how the airline knows how much weight there is on the plane when you see how much some people carry on board. No one seems to observe the weight, height restrictions and the airlines don’t appear to enforce it.
By the time we arrived we were tired; it was dark and we just wanted to get to our hotel room. So we went to the Mears counter at the airport to book a shuttle.
Once you pay for your transport you head out of the airport to the Mears Shuttle waiting area where you show your ticket and are given an alert buzzer. This flashes when your transport is ready. Ours for some reason decided to flash from the moment we got it.
After waiting for quite some time we were finally put into a taxi van, not a shuttle bus, with a number of others and after another wait while the driver and the attendant had a heated discussion, we finally set off.
We were the last passengers and the driver dropped us off at the Holiday Inn. When we got to the desk we found out that we were in the wrong Holiday Inn and the young man at the reception desk arranged for a taxi to take us further up the road. We were totally unaware at this time that there were two Holiday Inns in the same street. Its a pity our original driver never mentioned or questioned at any time which Holiday Inn we were staying at. So thumbs down on Mears on this occasion for putting us in this position.
We booked the hotel before leaving Australia and looked for one close to the park. On the website it states that this is the closest hotel to Universal Studios – it isn’t. Plus the nearest place to get something to eat was Wendy’s. So hamburgers and fries for dinner.
However, Holiday Inn hotels have a lot going for them in that they have a guest laundry, and breakfast and internet are included in the price of the room.
Our room was on the small side but it was clean and comfortable.
We found the next day that the shuttle to the Universal Studios only goes early morning and doesn’t come back until the evening, so you are stuck at the park all day unless you want to walk back to the hotel, a good, and I mean good, 30 odd minutes away, or catch a cab. This hotel is great if you have a car and can drive to the park.
We stayed three nights and decided to cut our losses and check out. We went online and booked into Loews Royal Pacific Hotel which is one of the Universal Studios resorts, so we could come and go as we please to the park.
We often stay at Holiday Inn hotels, and this one would have been just fine if it had been nearer to Universal Studios. I have no trouble recommending it as a place to stay if you have a car; it is clean, comfortable and a nice price.
The nearest place to our hotel to have a nice lunch or dinner was TGI Friday’s. Again it took us longer than usual to walk down because of my torn ligament, so it was about a 20 minute walk for us. But it was worth it.
The waiter was charming and helpful and the food was very tasty. So well worth a visit if you are in the area.