Sheila Gallant-Halloran

Made-to-measure travel; please, go away! :-)

First Impressions – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

We travelled to Disney for trip #19 last week, and did something a little different. Instead of parking at one hotel, I decided to spend 3 nights at a moderate, and 3 nights at a deluxe. I knew I’d miss the convenience of staying at a deluxe monorail hotel, but I wanted to compare the two experiences back-to-back.

The moderate hotel I chose was the Caribbean Beach Resort. I have a lot of clients stay at this resort, and had gotten their experiences, which had certainly supplemented the terrific training and onsite visits I’d had previously. But, I must say that staying onsite myself gave me a much fuller view, and a totally different perspective.

When you get off the Disney’s magical express, you’re first hit by bright sun and the midday Florida heat (106 degrees when we landed). Then, you’re struck by the bright Caribbean colours of the lobby building.  We made our way inside Customs House (the lobby/reception building) to check in, get room key and park tickets, and make a last minute dining reservation with the concierge. (Since I’d only arranged the trip 24 hours prior, my normal planning cycle was a little out of whack :-))

The hotel has 2,112 rooms, but they are not in a single tower building. Instead, the >2K rooms are spread over six Caribbean villages/islands, with each little village/island being a cluster of 2 story buildings (note: none of these buildings have elevators). The villages/islands are named Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, Jamaica, Trinidad North, and Trinidad South.

The resort is so large, it has an internal bus system to shuttle guests from the Custom House, to the various villages/islands and Old Port Royale Towne Centre (where the dining areas and main pools are). Which village/island you stay in can make the difference for your comfort – as you can see on the resort map below.  I have always recommended to my clients staying at Caribbean Beach to pay the little bit extra to get a preferred room. The preferred rooms are in the islands of Martinique and Trinidad North.  They are closer to Old Port Royale Towne Center, which means they are closer to the dining and the main pool (but also tend to be busier than the outer islands). They are also closer/better located for the bus stops. The pirate rooms are in the Trinidad South village/island.

I knew from my training and onsite visits that the biggest complaint about this resort was how spread out it was. Still, I wanted to walk from Customs House to our preferred room in building #33 in Trinidad North. The gal at the front desk told me 8 minutes, and took a highlighter to colour my path on the above map. We made our way outside, only to have a bell services guy encourage us to take the internal bus. I sloughed off his warnings that the walk was more like 20 minutes, and we’d wilt in the heat.  I should have listened to him!

We walked out of Customs House, through the islands of Barbados and Martinique, and through Old Port Royale, before finally getting to Trinidad North. We did get a sense of how pretty the villages/islands were as we walked, and took in the gorgeous little beaches (although you can’t swim in the bay), but DD5 was fading fast in the heat. She didn’t much care to relax in the hammocks along our walk, or enjoy the palm trees. She just wanted to swim in the nearest pool. And, the bell captain was right – it did take a good 20 minutes to finally reach our building with DD5.

The room decor had the same lively Caribbean colours as the Customs House. Like the majority of moderate hotels, however, the bedding is doubles only. (The Port Orleans French Quarter just was upgraded to queen beds earlier this summer, and the Port Orleans Riverside will be next. Coronado Springs, as a conference hotel, already had queens. So, the CBR will be the last moderate to be upgraded to queen bedding.)  The rooms are fairly small (compared to the deluxe hotels) but have the largest floor plans of the moderate hotels at about 340 sq feet. There was a fridge in the room (but no microwave), under the counter that housed a flat screen TV. There was a coffee maker, and 2 double sinks in the bathroom area next to the closet (with a curtain separating the sink area, and the toilet/tub & shower having a separate door). 

We didn’t hang out much in the room, though – made our way for a swim, lickity split, at our local village/ island quiet pool at Trinidad North, and then took off for Magic Kingdom.

I’ll write a follow up blog about the ease of getting to and from the parks from Caribbean Beach, and our experiences at the main pool and dining.

If you have any questions and/or you want me to book a holiday for you here, give me a call, or send me an email. Sheila 613-837-0699 or


July 6, 2011 - Posted by | Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Hotels

1 Comment »

  1. […] a.) The CBR is a beautifully laid out resort, and it takes its design and theming inspiration from an actual place (like all moderate hotels) – you feel like you’re in the Caribbean. The resort is composed of 6 villages/islands of Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, Jamaica, Trinidad North, and Trinidad South; and each has its own Caribbean vibe. I’d done a blog previously that is relevant here. […]

    Pingback by Some Pros & Cons – Staying at a Moderate – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort « Sheila Gallant-Halloran | July 8, 2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: