Hello everyone! I know I’ve been extremely MIA for quite some time now but I do have a little break before my last semester of grad school starts up & before things start getting really busy at work again. I just returned from a short 4 night trip to WDW and we tried some new places & things that I figured I’d give a little trip report about. I didn’t take too many pictures, I didn’t even pack my DSLR :ohmy:, haha. So stay tuned because I would like to share some little stories!!
Yeah!! Welcome back!!
Where have you been? Just kidding. Hope you had a good trip Can’t wait to hear about it!
like to hear about the new things …soon
So, we were scheduled to leave on Saturday 1/21 at 6:30 a.m. out of Newark. Daniel woke up Friday morning for work and was getting really concerned about an impending snow storm that was forecasted to move through the area right when our flight was supposed to take off. Because this was such a short trip I knew the threat of missing an entire day in Disney would really spoil the experience so we decided to call Continental immediately and see how fast we could get on a flight. Much to my complete surprise they said “sure, no problem” and put us on a flight later that same day! I basically went into a mad panic, haha. I had to quickly call out of work, pull out some warm weather clothes (I hadn’t packed a thing yet), try to arrange a place to stay for this extra night, change Magical Express, get 100 errands done, and we only had 6 hours before we had to get to the airport.
To make a long story short, we arrived into Orlando Friday evening & everything worked out PERFECTLY!!! Saturday morning I woke up, out of curiosity, and checked the flight we were SUPPOSED to be on & surely enough it was CANCELLED!! So thank goodness we got in one night early & it saved our little trip! Thank you to Continental, all the great CMs on the Disney reservation line & Magical Express who were kind enough to help us out last minute and accomodate us for an extra night.
I am not really going to do a day-by-day report but I just wanted to give some thoughts/opinions on some new things we experienced this trip. We typically stay at DVC resorts because we are members but I had some points stuck in a “Disney Collection” (which are the non-DVC resorts where you can opt to use your points) that were stuck in a “use them or lose them” situation & that’s how this whole trip blossomed. The amount of points I had fit PERFECTLY for the amount of points needed to stay in a “water view Pirate Suite” at Caribbean Beach. We were both excited because between Daniel and I we’ve stayed at every single WDW resort EXCEPT for Caribbean Beach; the thought of something ‘new’ to us in Disney was fun because were both such seasoned veterans.
This was also a trip that was arranged pretty much at the last minute & because of grad school and some other jazz, money has been REALLY tight. We decided to do the “Counter Service Dining Plan” to save some extra $ because Daniel had to renew his annual pass & we had to economize somewhere. This was another new thing for us, we have ALWAYS loved the “regular” dining plan & it’s suites us so well; the “counter service” dining plan was nothing we ever even considered so we were curious how happy we’d be with it.
Anyway, instead of going day by day, I will just give some thoughts, notes, stories, and opinions of everything we experienced.
Some pics of our Pirate Suite & Carribean Beach. These are a mix of pics taken on my cell phone and small digi cam so please excuse the poor quality. :closedeye
Daniel was trying to entice ducks into our room using peanuts. :ohmy: As one of my friends commented under this photo on Facebook; “it’s all fun and games until someone poops on the floor.” haha. Well, the ducks would NOT cross the threshold & they never did enter our room. phew. Daniel, Daniel, Daniel… :huh:
It’s so nice to hear from you again Jessica. Looking forward to reading about your most recent trip. (even your cell-phone pictures are great).
Cell phone pic, those shipping crates were actually drawers & the barrel was hiding a mini-fidge inside. The big pirate curtain can be drawn back to expose the vanity/sink & bathroom areas.
I could just see the phone call now…hello housekeeping, we seem to have a duck in our room, we have no idea how it got in here and we can’t get him to leave. :whistling
Thank you, glad to be back. Just seeing this site again is like getting a warm hug from a friend I haven’t seen in years.
I have NO CLUE what Daniel planned on doing had the ducks actually entered. lol. :blink:
Caribbean Beach Resort Review:
Overall, out of 5 mouse ears I would rank the following based on our short stay:
resort size/convenience of layout: :mickey:
food/drink/snack options: :mickey::mickey::mickey:
shopping/resort merch: :mickey::mickey:
resort/park transportation: :mickey::mickey::mickey:
main pool/hot tub: :mickey::mickey:
our pirate suite: :mickey::mickey::mickey::mickey:
bell services/check-in/check-out: :mickey:
resort grounds/common areas: :mickey::mickey::mickey:
Caribbean Beach CMs: :mickey::mickey::mickey::mickey:
I will give a very detailed review of our experience at Caribbean Beach soon, I just wanted to give a quick snap shot of how I’d rate each aspect of our stay. Please keep in mind that I am used to staying at ALL classes of Disney resorts; I grew up RVing at Fort Wilderness, stayed at all the value resorts with my college friends as young Florida residents, I loved Coronado Springs as a moderate, & of course as DVC members we’ve enjoyed many years of being spoiled in studios and gorgeous 1-bedroom suites. I try my hardest not to compare between the groupings but I will say that I most likely would not choose to stay at Caribbean Beach again.
Details to come! :happy:
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Also? I don’t know if I could sleep in a room with that big pirate skull!
Great start! Looking forward to the rest!
:blink::blink::blink: Men are just so…odd.
You can say that again. lol
Caribbean Beach Resort Review cont…
Our pirate room was really cool. I was a little nervous that the intense theming would feel juveline or tiresome after one night when the novelty wears off but that wasn’t the case. Somehow the decor did not overwhelm the comfort or energy of the room; leave it to Disney to accomplish a pretty sophisticated feeling out of “pirates.” :pirate: The size of the room was comfortable, the storage space was perfect for two adults (add 2 kids to that mix & I could see how it may get messy pretty fast). I REALLY liked how you can opt to curtain off the vanity/bathroom area from the rest of the room and the new flat screen TVs were pretty vibrant. My only room complaints may be that, even with every light on, it was still a really dark room. We kept the shades & curtains completely open most of the time just to have a normal lighting environment.
This resort is uncomfortably massive. It may just be my personal preference to be in an all-in-one building resort like AKL but I will say that Caribbean Beach, no matter what you tell me in real acerage size, just FELT massively bigger than even Coronado Springs or Old Key West. I felt like we spent way too much time on internal buses, walking far to where we needed to go, & everything looks VERY similar. Just to refill our resort mugs it was either an internal bus ride with 5 stops before we got to the food court or a 15 minute walk. Most of the time we just said “forget it” & didn’t use the resort common areas to their fullest. On a longer trip this may not have bothered me as much but it was pretty inconvenient. The buildings run into each other and the paths are repetative in style. It’s pretty tiring and slightly confusing.
Every CM that we encountered was extremely friendly & helpful! One night my phone got soaked on Splash Mountain and a CM in the food court came running to my rescue with a child’s pail full of dried rice telling me to dry it out overnight in the pail. Sure enough it worked! We also encountered a CM in the resort store that talked to me for about 10 minutes about missing River Country, etc. Everyone was so nice. We did experience some odd mistakes at check-in & check-out, a pair of earrings went missing from my room after mousekeeping left one morning, & we almost missed our Magical Express bus departing the resort because bell services did not show up at our door when they made an arrangement to. I don’t mind expanding on any of those incidents if anyone wants to know but otherwise they were all worked out.
As far as the food court goes, I was pretty impressed with the counter service options! They had big dinner portions and everything we tried was good quality. I felt like the best counter as far as value & quality went is the “Bridgetown Broiler” where they offer dishes like roast turkey, rotisserie chicken, pork & salmon with choices of sides like mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, beans & rice, etc. It felt like a “real meal,” even for counter service. I also liked how they had seperate registers for the “grab & go” area, this kept the lines down for people carrying heavy trays of food from the counter services windows. Seating was plentiful & comfortable. I also liked having the option of eating outdoors at cafe tables with a pretty ceramic waterfall fountain nearby.
Otherwise, the whole Caribbean Beach Resort experience for me was just ok. I probably wouldn’t choose to stay there again unless it was my very last option. If I had to stay at another moderate resort in the future, for whatever reason, I think I would stick with Coronado or Port Orleans (especially with the upcoming Royal Suites which look absolutely beautiful).
The main pool area was underwhelming to me, everything felt a little ‘tired’ and bland, and without the spice of our specially themed pirate room I probably would have found the resort to be downright boring. :mellow::laugh: