We stayed at the Radisson Sea World for a long weekend ending 9/20/08.
We had regularly stayed at this hotel, and the staff had always
been one of the friendliest of any hotel. The only problems we ever
had was the that all the rooms have airbeds and some are very noisy,
don't work well, and if the adjustments are wrong it can ruin your back.
They also close the pools at the drop of a hat and there is no clear
chain of command on how they re-open them...they all say something
different, so you can make plans after someone says there're not going
to re-open then find it open ten minutes later. Once we checked the local
radar and it was "clear" but they kept the whole complex closed for hours
on some "30 minute lightning rule"...when there had been none. The internet
was all wired and the terms seemed frightening, but this was minor.
There was also a big shortage of luggage carts and bell hops. We made
multiple long trips from a hilly parking area and up elevators.
This week was a series of yellow ozone days, with Radisson's
addition of the ritual wood fire pits next to the pool for smore roasting.
When low pressure atmosphere kicks in it makes everything
linger around the ground, so if you can tolerate wood smoke it might be
a blessing since the mosquitoes had already forced us to move three times
further away from the pools, finally into the midst of the smog.
It was a relief from the cigar/cigarette stench surrounding the hot tub area that covered
the pool grounds. Despite the fact that these facilities are "heated" all but
some water-winged toddlers were huddled in the hot tub...and they got out
quickly as the parents couldn't tolerate the water to swim with them.
All of this would have been forgivable if it weren't for the "shuttle".
The "every 15 minute" morning shuttle had people abandoning their plans and
driving, preferring to pay parking at Seaworld than wait. The main desk where there was one employee servicing a line was no help.
One "cruised right by" the pickup point, and later we saw it do it again through
the fence as we were walking toward the front of the SeaWorld resort. It had always taken
all of 5 minutes to get from the property to the SeaWorld dropoff/pickup point, and
this day was no exception once the shuttle decided it might take anyone.
From 5-6PM+ we sat at the SeaWorld return curb point and watched
no less than four Fairfield shuttles stop before a single Radisson van. The first two
times "our van" arrived there were so many desperate patrons they
"moved the pickup point" 50, then 100 feet up from the pickup
sign where they waived frantically to hail the driver who would stop and load full, as
those of us who had waited one hour+ got completely ignored. One patron
walked up to the driver and threatened to write corporate over this and we heard
the driver plea for more shuttles on his cell phone. During this time
many angry stranded families paid taxis back to the Radisson as their children
complained in loud voices, waited to eat, and avoided going to the bathroom out of
fear of missing the van. The one we finally got on still left people stranded.
When we got back to the hotel we again noted the second shuttle was still in front
where it had been parked that morning.
Hilariously, when we checked out there was a bogus bar charge on the bill
incurred while we were all sitting on the ground at Seaworld for 1+ hours.
Radisson management removed it, and we thanked them for all that extra time
we could have been in the park instead of sucking ozone on curbs in 90+ heat. The
hotel parking lot was full yet one shuttle sat unused the whole time
while throngs of waiving desperate families paid cabs to hurry back and
to huddle in an overflowing hot tub.
I want to add two things: the shuttle drivers did their best to overload vans
to the point where it seemed dangerous: the trip "to" they put a huge unrestrained
stroller in the front passenger seat (one rear ending might equal the first adult death by
flying stroller in history); on the way "from" it was 5 people per bench seat and lots of
lap sitting with no seat belts. Nice intent, bad business.
I submitted this review 5 weeks after this trip yet this as well as previous
stays had not been credited to my Radisson points account. A call changed that easily.
I learned three things: 1) ask "heated to what temperature?", and 2) watch your statement/points, and 3)try the Fairfeld – we saw their shuttle so many times we stopped counting.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.