View Full Version : Pros & Cons Of Por & Cbr??
05-18-2007, 04:10 PM
Hello! I'm new to the board! Me, my husband and 6 year old daughter are going to Disney for the first time in Sept. and have reservations for POR....I'm starting to wonder if I should change them to the CBR... What do you all think? Is the boat to DTD worth forgoing the beaches and hammocks at CBR? Any pros or cons on either resort would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!!:yay:
05-18-2007, 05:12 PM
I have to admit that we seldom use the amenities at the resorts...even though those are often what determine at which resort we will next stay. When we last stayed at CBR (in the waterview room which I was adamant we have yet never looked out at the view once we were settled in for the week!!!), we did not once relax in the hammock or even walk on the sandy beach. (Same goes for our numerous VWL/WL visits.) I looked forward to taking advantage of the boats; but, again, never even went near the marina. (We have yet to use the boats during any of our many, many WDW visits over the years!!) In fact, we only visited the main pool once and the quiet pool twice -- for less than 45 minutes each time. (We have PAP's, so we go to the water parks a couple of times each trip. If the kids have a choice between the water parks and the resort pool, you can guess which one always wins.) Although CBR is one of my least favorite WDW resorts (sorry, guys), it is lushly landscaped and the location is great. On the other hand, the food available was the pits!
While the rest of my family has stayed at POR recently, I have not. However, I did spend a week at POFQ over spring break a year ago; and we are returning to POR in July. The bus service at POFQ/POR (shared) was absolutely horrible during our visit. Fortunately, we had a car and could avoid the buses except when visiting the MK. POR/POFQ are as well landscaped as CBR...just different. We all found the food to be great and well-priced. CMs were very friendly and helpful. Like the beaches and boats at other resorts, we anticipated using the boat service to DTD quite frequently. Of course, we used it once -- and only because it was the end of our trip and we were determined to do so!
05-18-2007, 07:12 PM
We've stayed at both POR and CBR...My vote would absolutely be for POR. We hated CBR. The bus service was the worst we've ever encountered at WDW(stayed at 10 different resorts). It got to the point where we walked to the first bus stop every day just to ensure a spot(not even a seat) on a bus. The rooms were extremely damp. Clothes we hung up to dry on day 2 weren't dry on day 8, paper curled at the edges, etc... The food court is too small for the amount of people at the resort. We had a good room location right across the bridge from the main pool but we will never stay at CBR again.
POR is a beautifully landscaped resort. The way the different buildings are set up make for a quieter stay. It does make a difference what building you are in. We stayed in AB. Our first building was not near anything but a quiet pool and a bus stop. It was great at the end of the day because we didn't have to walk far to the room but it was a long walk to the food court. The second building was just off the main path again near a quiet pool. There was a big difference between a 10 minute walk and a 20 minute walk to the food court/main building. We didn't feel like we were surrounded by people after a long day at the parks.
Everyone's different...you just need to decide for yourself what's most important to you and your family.
05-18-2007, 10:53 PM
We stayed at the CBR last year for 10 glorious days! We were there in June and the CM told me the resort was almost full. You couldn't tell it! Because the resort is large, the guests are distributed equally so we never got the crowded in feeling.
The resort is beautiful. The theming is carried out throughout the entire resort. The buildings are bright and cheerful. Tropical plants and fruit trees are growing everywhere.
The Custom House is where you will check in/out and you probably won't go back there during your stay; therefore, it is not necessary to request a building near the Custom House. An internal bus runs around the entire resort so if you don't want to walk, you can take the internal bus.
The bus service was very efficient. We never waited long for a bus and sometimes there were two and three buses picking up and dropping off at the same time. Because the CBR is so centrally located, it never took us long to get to any Disney destination.
We were assigned to Jamaica Building 41. It was the furthest building in the Jamaica village so we felt as if we were in a secluded area (which is a good thing). The walk to the Jamaica quiet pool took less than a minute. The bus stop walk was about 3 minutes and the walk to Old Port Royale was about 5 minutes. We always enjoyed our walks because the resort is so beautiful.
Our room faced a lush courtyard and the walkways around the buildings were wide enough you could sit outside if you wanted to. Dotted around the courtyard were benches and umbrella tables for the resort guests.
The rooms at the CBR are 340 square feet meaning they are slightly larger than all the other moderate rooms. Once everybody gets their things in the room, you'll be glad you have the extra space.
The room had two double beds which were raised off the floor. We used the room to store our empty luggage. There is a nightstand with a small storage compartment beneath.
There is a medium sized table and a couple of chairs in the bedroom area. A coffeemaker was found in the closet area but we put it on the table. The television is in a wooden armoire which has three large drawers and two lingerie type drawers.
Near the armoire is the refrigerator which is also enclosed in a wooden cabinet. The refrigerator is dorm size and our's worked extremely well. Loved having a fridge in the room to store leftover desserts, fruit, drinks, etc.
Also in the bedroom area was a large padded bench that had a very deep drawer underneat. Great for storing large packages. Above the bench was a peg type shelf which was perfect for hanging our backpack and hats.
The closet/sink area was fairly large. There is a curtain that can be pulled to divide this area from the bedroom area. Comes in handy when everybody is trying to get ready at once.
The two sinks are enclosed in a long wooden cabinet which has two storage areas beneath. A hairdryer, iron and ironing board are all in the room.
The closet rod already had about a dozen wooden hangers on it and we brought along two dozen more and still have room. We brought along a couple of mesh laundry bags and kept all of our dirty clothes in them.
The safe in the closet wall is pretty small. Not much room to store more than a wallet, a game boy, etc.
The bathroom was the typical hotel/motel size. It was very clean. No loose tiles, no mold or mildew. I checked!
Mousekeeping was very efficient during our stay. They came in every day and cleaned everything thoroughly. We never saw any left over trash or crumbs. We received four towel animals. We tipped daily.
Each village has their own quiet pool and beach. Because the main pool was fairly crowded, we swam in the Jamaica quiet pool and we sometimes had the pool all to ourselves.
The laundry facilities are located near the quiet pools. This was great because we could do our laundry and swim at the same time. It didn't feel as if we were cutting into our vacation time.
The Jamaica beach was swept clean each night. There were hammocks and beach chairs all along the beach. It was nice to laze around in the hammock and watch the Epcot fireworks at night.
The walk to Old Port Royale was very pleasant. You had to pass through the island to get there. Tropical music played all over the island and there were several paths you could take. Along the paths were benches and gliders. We saw several families having picnics on the island.
The main pool is designed to look like an old fort complete with water slide and cannons. A hot tub and hair wrap station are near the main pool. Order a tropical drink and sip it at one of the many umbrella tables nearby.
At the marina, you can rent sea raycers, pontoon boats, canoes, sailboats, surrey bikes and bicycles.
I was pleasantly surprised by the food court. It was always very well staffed and clean. It could get busy at times but we didn't mind. At lunch and dinner, you could find burgers, pasta, pizza, chicken strips, salads, rotissiere chicken, veggies, fresh made sandwiches, fresh baked bakery items, fruit, yogurt, etc. At breakfast, there were Mickey waffles, breakfast meats, omelets, etc.
The arcade was medium sized. Our son bought a refillable playing card and played for quite a while on $20.00.
The store is divided in two with one side selling Caribbean themed items such as pirate items, jewelry, swim suits, shorts, flip flops, etc. The other side sold the more typical Disney items such as t-shirts, autograph books, scrapbooking items, hats, etc.
I think that you would thoroughly enjoy a stay at the CBR. We loved it so much we're headed back in just 12 days for another 10 day stay!
05-20-2007, 07:09 AM
We stayed at both POR and CBR, and we absolutely love CBR. We love the beautiful tropical themeing, the white sandy beaches with hammocks, the vibrant colors/music, and the friendly ducks. The rooms are bigger in size with two double sinks and lots of storage. We have stayed in Martinique (when my daughters were little) and now we like to stay in Jamaica. It is a short walk over the bridge to the main pool and food court. We like the variety of food at the food court and we love the wonderful gift shop. The main pool and quiet pools are all lovely, and we use them every day. We, also, like the bus service. We have always had very efficient bus transportation.
POR is also beautifully landscaped but we much prefered the tropical themeing. We liked the main pool and quiet pools. We stayed in the AB section and it was very close to the food court. We loved the boatride to DTD - that, to us, was the best thing about POR. But we did not have good bus service the week we were there. We had very long waits and that was a big turn off for my family.
So now we only stay at CBR, and everyone is happy!
June, 1979 - Offsite
June, 1995 - CBR
June, 1997 - CBR
June, 1999 - POR
June, 2003 - CBR
March, 2005 - Disneyland
June, 2005 - CBR
Next Trip - July 11 thru - July 18 - CBR :yay:
05-20-2007, 07:28 AM
We have not stayed at the POR but stayed at teh POFQ and CBR. While both were nice we prefer the CBR.
WE never used the boat service to DTD so I can't speak for that. We also always rent a car so I am not sure about the bus service at either.
The CBR had beautifil rooms. We never had a problem with cleaning, etc. Personally we prefer the landscape of CBR over POFQ and from what I see in pictures POR. We have always used the beaches and hammocks at CBR. We have a 3 year old dd and went this past december. While we thought we would be at the resort more for breaks, we still did utilize the beach. WE spent several afternoon breaks relaxing on the beach, making sand castle with out DD and having a nice cold margarita!:thumbsup2
As for the boats, we did not use them this past trip but did on a previous trip before our dd was born. It was a nice relaxing change from the parks.
As for the food... it's fast food, case closed. I know some people say it is not good, but it is the same quality as anywhere else in the parks. To me, fast food is fast food. Seldom have we found a fast food restaurant that was just THAT much better than everywhere else. We ate at the food court every morning (bagels, eggs, pancakes, cereal, etc) and a few quick dinners. Just my opinion but we do not pick our resort by what food court is better. They all seem the same to me.
The overall feel of the resort at CBR is just more what we are looking for. Being from NY, when we go to Florida, I like to feel like we are in the tropics (or as close to it as you can get in the US ;) ). The landscape is lush, steel drum music plays in the background, it is like a mini vacation from the parks. You can even see the Epcot fireworks from the Martinique beach!
That all being said I think you will like both, it just depends on what type of theme you prefer.
05-20-2007, 12:08 PM
First of all, I’m biased – I love CBR. But I’ll try to give as objective a report as possible from our March 2007 trip.
We arrived on a Saturday morning about 10:30 am. Although the Custom House seemed busy, I was helped within 2-3 minutes of getting in line to register. The CM was very helpful and friendly, and check-in went very quickly – our room was even ready… until the “key-cutting” computer locked up on everyone. This presented a delay while a CM who obviously was the “computer” guy worked hard to get it up and running. Finally, in order not to delay us further, they issued temporary keys and our tickets separately, and asked us to check back later that day at our convenience. Everyone was very nice about it, and the computer was back up and running later when I stopped back there.
The room was neat and clean, with a small towel animal pen holder left for us. We had paid for a preferred location and had a great room, Trinidad North 3128, a first floor room which opens onto a courtyard, which then overlooks the lake. It was terrific. Mousekeeping did a great job with the room; one day the light over the table had a bulb out, and I left a note with our tip – it was replaced by the time returned. Everything else worked the way it should and looked nice.
The Old Port Royale food court was great again – lots of variety in choices. They were out of the shorter, fatter refillable mugs, but they had lots of the taller car-style refillable mugs. They were expecting a new delivery of the shorter mugs this week, I think. No problem for us; we used them a lot through the week, and I can use this kind in my car now.
Servers at the food court counters were very friendly, and the cashiers were remarkably friendly – even joking with me multiple times. It was spring break for us, and probably for lots of others, so the resort was full, but the lines were never unbearable at the various food court counters, and the cashier lines were surprisingly short – they always had just about all the registers running.
The CM’s really work hard to keep the eating area clean. I’m always surprised how clean Disney World is, but the food court and outdoor eating area at Old Port Royale (OPR) was just really great. There are CM’s walking past cleaning all the time.
The Guest Services/Concierge desk in OPR had some really great staff. They helped me with a couple of things, including seat selection for my flight home (wish I didn’t have to leave!) and were very friendly.
Both gift shop areas were fully and neatly stocked and were also staffed with very friendly CM’s. We paid them back for their friendliness by buying some shirts, hats, etc.
Bus service was excellent. We just missed a bus on one occasion, but another arrived about 15 minutes later – our longest wait. We found most buses returned to the resort through the back entrance, stopping first at Jamaica; occasionally they would return in the front and stop at Martinique first. Didn’t matter to us, but I know that can be a hot topic on the boards here. Bus drivers were generally fun and friendly – there were a couple who were really quiet, but most had some fun with the passengers en route.
There were several high school sports teams, mostly lacrosse and a couple baseball, who were staying at the resort. They were no problem, although the bus ride home from the parks at night could be really loud if we got on with one of the teams. The teams seemed to be staying mostly in Aruba and Barbados, with some perhaps in Jamaica – just judging by where they got off. They were always polite at OPR and were usually kept busy during the day. Just a little rowdy on the buses.
I like to start my day by walking with a refillable mug of coffee around the lake each morning, and I noticed CM’s out early replacing plants, filling in sidewalk cracks, and cleaning literally everything. Part of why I enjoy CBR so much is the bright colors and great landscaping and foliage – it was great to see them out taking care of it every day. I would gladly have taken home the plants they were replacing if only I’d had room in my suitcase… oh yeah, my Ohio weather might not be helpful, though….
The main pool was often crowded, and seemed to be where the sports teams hung out at CBR, so we spent more time at our quiet pool than the main one. The quiet pool was never crowded; in fact, a couple times we were the only ones there. Pools were clean, so were the pool decks.
On our previous visit to CBR, we spent a lot of time on the beach and renting boats on the lake. We didn’t do either at all this trip – certainly could’ve, but we just did other things. None of the beaches seemed real crowded, and they were clean and freshly raked every morning… just makes everything look so nice. Parking lots seemed to be in good shape, although we didn’t drive.
On our departure day, I called bell services for a ride to the Custom House. Right on time, a CM arrived with a van and took us and our luggage to the Custom House in plenty of time for our Magical Express pickup.
I’m just always amazed how friendly all the CM’s are and how clean and bright everything looks. Something really hit us on this visit that made us appreciate CBR more, though. Six years ago, we had stayed at WL on our first trip to WDW. My DS13 and I took the boat from MK to WL one day and walked around the lodge and grounds. He made the comment how much more he likes CBR because the lobby and grounds of WL were so loud. I didn’t really notice that myself, but it made me realize the benefit of the spread-out nature of CBR. With several villages of buildings, it’s easy for us to really escape the crowds and get rest when we need to. The quiet pools are an awesome refuge and really relaxing with so few people in them. Walking around the lake in the morning is, for me, a really special time. I really can’t think of anything I’d change there – well maybe just to be able to stay longer each time.
There are a lot of very complete reviews of CBR, so I’ve tried not to duplicate them. I know everyone has their own favorites for their own very valid reasons, but for us, there’s just no substitute for CBR!
I have some new photos of the resort in the link below.
05-20-2007, 03:51 PM
We have used the DTD boat from POR many times, to visit the restaurants (Rain Forest Cafe) and others, shopping, to visit Lego and the play area and jumping fountains with my child when he was younger. We always include atleast a trip or two on the boat. The ride itself is quite enjoyable as well, especially if you get a "talkative" operator.
POR has beautiful grounds, a wonderful playground, carriage rides, pole fishing, wonderful themed pool with slide and waterfalls, quiet pools and it is our
HOME AWAY FROM HOME!
Which ever resort you choose
HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME MAK'N MEMORIES! :wizard:
05-21-2007, 11:08 PM
Thank you all so very much!! Great responses!! I was wondering if I went w/ CBR how and when would I make a building request? I keep seeing many say Jamaica is great? Thank you again!!:wizard:
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