Saturday, March 26, 2016

DISNEY'S CARIBBEAN BEACH RESORT

   It's the original moderate level resort at WDW, and with 2,100+ rooms, it's also the largest resort on WDW property.  Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort was a nice surprise for us when we stayed there back in 2015.

The Resort is almost as colorful as the map!


RESORT LAYOUT:

  

This resort really has a magical & romantic atmosphere at night
      The Resort is huge and very spread out, but it's so beautifully themed and relaxing!  With the lake and all of the walkways along the white sandy beach areas with hammocks and benches, it is hard to resist just dropping all of your plans and kicking back for an hour or more.

   The resort opened in 1988 and is the first of the moderate level resorts built on Disney property.  It wasn't until 17 years later that Disney would begin the "Magical Express" bus transport service from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World resorts.  This would explain why the CBR seems to be made with guests having their own vehicles in mind.  CBR is broken into 6 different areas: Jamaica, Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, Trinidad North, and Trinidad South. 



   There is a separate check in building called the Custom House and it can be a bit tricky, as you have to check in there first before finding your room.  If you have your own car, that's no big deal, but if you come in as a guest via Disney's Magical Express, you will have to check in and then take the internal bus to your area, not really a huge deal, but another step before settling in. The main pool, dining and gift shop areas are located at the Old Port Royale area pretty much in the middle of the resort.  We stayed in the Trinidad South area which is the farthest away from Old Port Royale, but it turned out to be a great location, quiet and away from the busy pool area, but not too far of a walk, in fact that walk along the lake became one of our favorite things about the resort!

DINING:  

   Dining at CBR was one of the pleasant surprises for us on this trip.  There is a restaurant - Shutters on property, as well as a food court type counter service area all located inside the building at Old Port Royale.  Shutters hasn't had the best reviews of the Disney eateries in past years, but we were blown away at how good our meal was!

Shutters was a very pleasant surprise for us!



   The Steak and Fish dishes we ordered were absolutely delicious, the dessert was great, and the service was as good as it gets!
  
  
   There is a food court of sorts which had different stations and again, service was great, and we must have hit it just right, because there was never an issue of overcrowding when we were there, tables were plentiful and so was the food! 

One of the offerings from the Pasta station


   There is a grab-n-go area, and gift shop also located in the Old Port Royale building.  

Entrance to "Old Port Royale" at Caribbean Beach Resort

TRANSPORTATION:

   As mentioned earlier, the resort seems to be built with the idea of guests having their own vehicles, but once you learn the CBR bus system, it's about the same as the other resorts.  Each area has it's own covered bus stop and buses arrive every 20 min. or so to take you to each of the 4 theme parks, as well as Disney Springs.  There is also an internal bus that will just drive around the resort stopping at each of the bus stops. 
Bus stop at the Jamaica area

  We got the hang of things quickly (and that's not easy for "Grandma & Grandpa"!), and soon the only thing we weren't sure about was whether we should get off at Old Port Royale's stop and walk to the room, or ride all the way to Trinidad South. 

   If you have your own car, then it's even better, there's plenty of parking at each section of rooms, and you can have your car right near your room!

OUR ROOM:

   We planned this trip on shorter notice than usual, and the resorts were pretty booked up, including the CBR.  We paid a little extra and got one of the Pirate themed rooms.
Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, A Pirate room for me!

   It's loaded with little touches that kids will really enjoy... even "big kids" (like us). 

Ready to "set sail" on a good night's sleep


The beds look like pirate ships, the fridge is in a barrel, and lots of little touches that make you feel like you are Captain Jack Sparrow.

We were in building "39"
The view from our room was very relaxing

 
THE POOL:

   We didn't even go for a swim on this trip, but the main pool is really nice!


It's located at the Old Port Royale area, and has a slide, as well as a "Kiddie" Splash n' Play area. 

The Grand kids will LOVE the Splash n' Play area!


There are also "quiet" pools located around the resort which are just basic swimming pools with lounge chairs around them.  We will definitely take a day to enjoy the pool next time we stay here.

OVERALL:

   Overall, the Caribbean Beach Resort has become one of our favorites (of course, I say that about EVERY Disney Resort!).  It's one of the most beautifully themed resorts WDW has to offer, and I could easily see myself spending an entire vacation just hanging out at the resort! 


   We didn't even see all that it has to offer.  There's plenty of space for exploring around the resort.  Lots of nice touches make this a place that I'm looking forward to returning and making my "base of operations" for another fantastic Walt Disney World trip!