Hi all. Part two here from our recent trip. Today we’ll look over Caribbean Beach Resort.
We weren’t actually going to stay here - I’ve always been enamored of POFQ, and long wanted to stay there. But looking over the photos, CBR seemed more lush and inviting, and it also came up a few bucks cheaper in the end. So away we went.
We stayed in Martinique - the only reason we did so was because one of the buildings is number 23 - that’s my son’s soccer uniform number, and we went for a birthday trip. (He turned 15 during our stay.) We did everything online, including a room request, and we got the text with our room number while we were waiting for DME pickup at MCO. I never actually interacted with the administrative staff during the trip.
We requested room 2337, but wound up with 2343 - I wasn’t going to quibble. I checked a mapping app on one of the days, and we were right about a quarter-mile from OPR and Centertown. Not a bad walk.
The landscaping around the buildings was well-kept, and the entire resort was bright and cheery. Some of the other villages were quite photogenic, especially early in the morning when the lake was still, or in the evening with the lights reflecting. I’ll have a separate post for our other dining experiences…but I’ll include the food court in this one. We did not dine at Shutter’s, and in fact I never actually saw anyone going in or out during our stay.
The food court was just that, a food court. Edible, but nothing spectacular. They do lunch and dinner better than breakfast. Take my advice, avoid the ‘breakfast potatoes’ if you can. On the other hand, the Grab and Go was superior - pastries, croissants, bagels, and all of it good! (and if you’re looking for a nip, beer and wine there, and hard liquor kept under lock and key in the Calypso Market)
On our first morning, we went out to the bus pickup at OPR, but rapidly discovered that everybody else does, too. So after the first day, we wound up walking back to our room, and then to our village bus stop. For your reference, the bus entrance is right at Jamaica, so all the buses going to and from the parks make the stops in this order, no exceptions: Jamaica, Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, OPR/Centertown, Trinidad North, Trinidad South, EXIT.
Bus service from here was great. But I wish Disney had a transit app like every major urban transit authority. It would have been nice to know when buses were showing up, instead of walking to the stop and seeing we just missed one.
But there were some blemishes. The main pool is ludicrously undersize for the number of rooms here. Ever see one of those pictures from China where everybody is piled on top of each other in a little puddle of a pool? That’s what it felt like. The “quiet” pools were a little better, but not by much, most of the time. With that many people in them, they were also quite warm. Instead of heating the pools, maybe Disney should cool them during the warmer months. And speaking of cooling, the spa was simply unbearable; it felt like I could boil eggs in there.
I also walked around Caribbean Cay one day. In contrast to the villages, this felt a little old and worn. It looked like it hadn’t been swept or raked in many days, and unlike the lush, healthy, landscaping of the villages, the plants here looked kinda tired. Then there was the sad lake. This one isn’t Disney’s fault - how long has that drought been going on in Central Florida? The water was murky, the shores muddy, and water lilies and reeds were taking over the shallows. Maybe it will come back one day.
But in the end - the positives far outweighed the negatives. As we were pulling out on our last morning, I turned to my wife and said “We don’t ever need to stay at any other resort again, do we?”. Of course she said “Except the Contemporary”.
So we’ll be back here again one day for sure.