Thursday, November 1, 2012

Resort Review: Caribbean Beach

 Being the value resort pros that we are, it came to a surprise  when in 2010 we were able to book Port Orleans: French Quarter for a decent price. We loved that resort and by the time our 2012 trip rolled around we were bitten by the moderate bug! This time? Caribbean Beach! As a Pop Century addict I was a little disappointed and just a bit let down by the pictures. When I come to Disney, I usually come to be immersed, but I was open-minded and hopeful that Caribbean Beach would become my new favorite. As we pulled up to check in at the custom house, I was anxious. We received the key and headed to Martinique where our room was located. I was content with our section, as Maritinique was a bright blue and red and fairly close to the food court as a standard. The rooms were a decent size, though I didn’t care much for the decorations. I did feel they were better than Port Orleans: French Quarters rooms which were still receiving upgrades on our stay. Remember, you can also book a Pirate room for a little more if you or your little ones are fans of Captain Jack Sparrow!

It took a couple days for us to warm up to the resort, as we weren’t exactly feeling the Disney magic in Caribbean Beach. Caribbean Beach seemed to be the more relaxing and slow-moving. We walked around the resort many times, visiting the other villages which include Jamaica, Barbados, Aruba, and Trinidad. Don’t let this review get you down, because I can tell you that we are now Caribbean Beach addicts and it was terribly hard to leave! Within a few days we were all in love with our morning walks to Old Port Royale to fill up our mugs before heading back to get ready to go to a park. Old Port Royale is the food court/giftshop/arcade at CBR which also includes a restaurant called Shutters. We never ate there, but eating the quick service meals was good enough for us. The food is what you can usually expect at most of the resorts and the seating area is a big enough size. Many times I walked to the hotel during the afternoon rest just to fill my cup up with tea and set in the corner near a window cooling off and enjoying the bustling of Disney guests while looking out into the beautiful lake. The decoration of Old Port Royale was very enjoyable and the colors were bright and cheery. 
We also ate breakfast outside one morning by the fountain with the cool wind blowing, it was heaven! One of my favorite parts of Caribbean Beach is the small beaches surrounding the lake. While guests are not allowed to go in the water, hammocks are set up where we would often laze around. Evenings, when the sun was setting, the beach was my favorite place to go and catch up on life back home.  If I could have only laid there forever!

Caribbean Beach also has a Marina where you can rent everything from Sea Raycers and bicycles, to canoes. We’d read that surrey bikes were fun and so my brother and I decided to give it a try. $19 for 30 minutes on a 2-seater surrey bike, we took off around the resort, pedaling our way through the villages. I have to say, despite having two people pedaling, that bike was a workout! There are some small hills and those were tough! Despite this, it was a good time and I suggest renting something from the marina on your next stay! For those of you that are health conscience, Caribbean Beach is a great place for runners. The sidewalk is wide enough for a few people and I even went out on a run myself one morning, it was extremely pleasant! As for the transportation, we decided to take the bus a few times for the first time ever on Disney property. It really is up and down, and depending on your village it can take a while, as the bus must stop at every destination. If you have a car, I would suggest driving it most of the time.

Here’s a wrap-up and my grade for Caribbean Beach!

Food: B+ (Average, usual Disney selection)
Rooms: B+ (Good amount of space, clean)
Theme:  A++++ (This place is gorgeous! From the colors, to the beaches, to the food court; spectacular!)
Entertainment: A (My brother and I had a little too much fun in the photobooths and playing air hockey in the arcade. During the summer (not sure if this is still going on) they also show Disney movies some nights in front of Old Port Royale around 8PM)
Transportation: C (Really just luck)
Cast Members: B (We didn’t really see much of them, but they were friendly enough)
Mood: A+ (Relaxing, happy, all-around good time!)
Total: A- (Will definitely be going back!)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Kayla! Can't wait to check this resort out!