08-23-2007, 02:44 PM
This is going to be our second trip to disney and we are talking about a 1 or 2 week stay. (Depends on the money we have saved by then.) Our last trip we stayed at AS Movies and we really enjoyed it. Paid for the dining, but found we needed to have made more reservations. Some nights we just ate at the hotel because everywhere was full. I've learned from that mistake.
So this time we are thinking do we save the money and stick with As Movies, or do we go a little fancier. Our entire family loved Epcot so I was considering either Swan, Dolphin, or Beach Club. But then I hear Swan & Dolphin and not on the ME, but does have the dining plan. Beach Club seems a little bit more than we are willing to pay. (DH is a big saver and is leaning towards AS Movies) But when we go it will be a bit of a celebration of having all our debt paid off and possibly DD's birthday. She was born Sept 99 so Sept 09 would be her 10th birthday. I know I have lots of time to plan and change my mind.
So where would you stay? And Why?
08-23-2007, 03:28 PM
Why not stick with the beach type theme and book a stay at the CBR? The CBR is a moderate resort so, while you wouldn't be paying a value resort price, you also wouldn't have to shell out the big bucks for a deluxe resort.
I'd definitely say the CBR is worth the extra money you would spend at a value resort. The rooms are bigger, there's a full service restaurant at the resort and the refrigerator is provided at no cost which could save you some money.
Some would say a con would be the fact that the CBR is a large resort. The promenade around the entire resort is just 1.4 miles. Old Port Royale (main pool/marina/food court) is in the middle. So, to me the walk from anywhere is not that bad.
When I was planning our first trip to the CBR, I remember thinking that I really wished somebody would write a super detailed report. I wanted to know what the rooms looked like. I wanted to know what food they served. I wanted to know how the buses ran. I wanted to know.....well.....everything!
So, when I returned from our wonderful 10 day stay at the CBR, I immediately came back and posted a thread that told everything. Since that post, we've been back to the CBR again and would return there in a heartbeat.
Here's my most recent post. It may just help sway you towards a CBR stay:
We have stayed at the CBR two years in a row and have enjoyed both stays. The minute we drove onto the CBR grounds we fell in love. The tropical theming is carried out throughout the resort. The buildings are all painted bright colors. The grounds were well maintained with fruit trees and lush foliage everywhere.
You will need to check in at the Custom House. Unless you have major problems during your stay (which we never did during either of our 10 day stays), you will probably not go back to the Custom House until you are ready to check out. That being said, it is not necessary to request a room near the Custom House.
When you check in, you will be given a packet of information which includes a map of the resort, park maps, information on transportation, dining information and much more.
The Concierge Desk is where you will pick up your dinner show tickets. They can also provide you with a printout of all your ADRs.
Bell Services is located at the Custom House too. If you arrive via Magical Express, you can request that Bell Services take you to your assigned building. You can also use Bell Services at check out to help get your luggage (and yourself) to the Custom House.
The CBR is a large resort but this means that the guests are distributed evenly throughout the resort and you won't feel crowded.
During our June, 2006 stay, we were assigned to Jamaica Building 41. Our upstairs room faced a beautiful lush courtyard. The walk to any destination was not long at all. It took us about 3 minutes to get to the Jamaica bus stop, about a minute to reach the Jamaica pool and laundry facilities and approximately 5 minutes to Old Port Royale. I especially liked crossing over the bridge and through the island to reach the main pool and food court. Tropical music is piped in for your enjoyment.
During our June, 2007 stay, we were upgraded to a room in Martinique. In my honest opinion, I don't think I would have paid the extra money to stay in Martinique. If you really want to be close to the main pool and Old Port Royale though , you might want to consider paying the extra money for a preferred location. Walking is just not that big of a deal to us so we just save that extra money for something else.
The rooms at the CBR are 340 square feet whereas the rooms at the value resorts are much smaller and the other moderate resorts are 314 square feet. Believe me, when you start getting all your people and all their luggage into the room, you'll be glad you have the extra space. We are a family of four (ages 41,41,20 and 10) and we have plenty of room at the CBR.
The beds at the CBR are raised off the floor providing you with a great space to store your empty luggage. Most rooms have two double beds but there are some that have one king size bed. There is a nightstand, a table with two chairs, a large mirror, an armoire with television and lots of drawers, a refrigerator, a bench with large storage drawer and a peg type shelf in the bedroom area. The refrigerator is like those found in most college dorms. Not big but not too small either. Plenty of room to store colas, water, juice, etc.
A privacy curtain can be pulled to separate the sink/closet area from the bedroom area. This comes in real handy when you've got several in your party.
There are two sinks in the sink/closet area. They are enclosed is a wooden vanity with storage area beneath. The closet has a long closet rod and our room had about a dozen wooden hangers already there. I brought along two dozen more and we still had plenty of room to hang all of our shirts.
A small safe is located in the closet wall. It's pretty slim and you can't store much more than a camera, a wallet, etc.
A hairdryer, iron, ironing board, refrigerator and coffeemaker are standard in the CBR rooms.
The bathroom was the typical hotel/motel bathroom size but our's was extremely clean. There were no loose tiles, mold or mildew. I checked!
Mousekeeping was great. During both stays, we received five towel animals. Our trash was taken out and our floor was vacuumed daily. We had four people in our party and we were given six large towels every day. They also replinished our coffee supply each morning. I tipped our mousekeeper each day.
I was really surprised at how quiet the rooms are at the CBR. We hardly ever heard our neighbors. If they were walking by, we would hear them if they were talking loudly. Most times, it was just quiet.
Each village has their own quiet pool and neither the Jamaica nor the Martinique quiet pools were busy at any time of the day. Some times, we had the pool all to ourselves. At other times, there were about a dozen guests using the quiet pool. I expect this to change when the main pool undergoes the rehab. I read, recently, that the quiet pools will have slides installed while the main pool is in rehab. Laundries are located near each village quiet pool. You can swim and do laundry at the same time!
The white sandy beaches in each village are swept clean each night. It was so nice to just sit in a beach chair or laze around in the hammocks. Several of the beaches have small playgrounds and at least one has a volleyball net.
The walk around the promenade is very pretty. You can get a real feel of the resort by taking this 1.4 mile walk. At one point, you will walk on wooden walkways through a wooded area. The flowering trees and bushes are everywhere. Plenty of picture taking opportunities along the way.
The main pool was pretty crowded during both of our stays but we expected that since the temps were in the high 80's/low 90's. The hot tub and hair wrap station are near the pool. Order a tropical drink at the pool bar and sip it at any of the numerous umbrella tables.
At the marina, you can rent pontoon boats, canoes, watermice, bicycles or surrey bikes. Fishing excursions are now at the CBR too. For the kids in your group, there is a pirate adventure cruise. I believe the cost was around $30.00. The kids are taken out onto the lake in a pontoon boat and are shown a treasure map. They make several stops along the beach in their search for treasure. We rented the sea raycers and every time we got close to the boat full of pirates, they would shake their fists at us and yell AARRGGHH!
Each village also has their own bus stop. The bus stops are covered, have several benches and cola machines. We never waited long for a bus. As a matter of fact, at times, there were two and three buses at the bus stop at the same time. Because the CBR is so centrally located, it never took us long to get to any Disney destination.
There is a bus which circles around the CBR only. You can get on at any bus stop and get off at any bus stop.
I was pleasantly surprised by the food court/store/arcade area. The store is divided in two with one side selling Pirates of the Caribbean, Caribbean Beach Resort and tropical merchandise. They even sell coconut postcards that you can mail home to friends and family. The other side of the store sells the more traditional Disney merchandise such as snowglobes, t-shirts, purses, watches, hats, scrapbooking items, etc.
The arcade is not super large but it had plenty room to keep up with the June crowds. You purchase a refillable playing card that you just swipe at each game. No keeping up with tokens or change.
We really enjoyed the food selection that the food court had to offer. You go to each of the food stations, order and get your food and then go to a central cashier. Simple to do.
The grab-n-go section serves fresh made sandwiches, salads, yogurt, fresh fruit, pies, cakes, veggies and dip, along with lots of other fresh items. At the pizza station, you will find pizza, pastas and salads. Burgers and chicken strips are served at another station. The kids chicken strip meal is served in a plastic sand pail with shovel. Yet another station has rotissiere chicken, roasted turkey, vegetables and hot sandwiches.
At breakfast, an assortment of breakfast meats, Mickey waffles, fresh fruit, pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns and omelets are served.
Shutters is a full service restaurant and the food was good. Even our picky 10 year old son found something he liked on the menu.
The food court seating area is large and we never had a problem finding a table. The self serve drink area has several drink stations. On the condiments bar, there are hot tea bags, honey, assorted jellies, parmesean cheese, hot pepper sauce, etc. There are also a couple of microwaves and toasters.
If you want to take your items to go, just tell the CMs who are plating your meals. They will provide you with tops for the dishes. At the register, ask the CM for a bag. They give you large brown bags with handles making it easy to carry your items out.
08-24-2007, 01:14 AM
A very important question. how much time do you plan on spending at the resort (main pool, main building, on the grounds etc). If it's lots than you might want to consider the upgrade (I highly reccomend CSR)
If not, stick with a value and purchase the DDP and have fun making ADR's it's so nice to just hand over your key to the world and have it swiped..no worries about cash.
08-24-2007, 02:03 AM
No guarantee, but for several years Disney has offered Free Dining Plan in September, so you may get a savings there that would allow you to stay at the Beach Club. We're off for a trip to CBR in a week, never been there, but excited to go. The Values were not quite what we were looking for and the theming, room size, ridge and location lead us to selec CBR. I hadn't a clue about DIS when I booked.
08-24-2007, 05:09 AM
I think if you are happy with staying at a value resort then go for it again. For years my family of 4 have stayed at AS Sports and had a beautiful time. If you are in the parks all day and just need a place to lay your head at night then value is the why to go. If you plan on spending time just relaxing at your resort then I would suggest something more pricey like a mod or deluxe where they do offer their guests' more amenities.
08-24-2007, 08:33 AM
If you are planning some down time at the resort than I would go for a moderate or deluxe depending on how much you want to spend. We loved POR and CSR and would go back to either in a heartbeat. If you don't want to spend as much as the BC than why not try WL or AK? We loved our stay at the value resort but our kids love pools with slides.
08-24-2007, 08:47 AM
Part of my choosing BC is that if I moved up from AS's I would want to be close to epcot. My entire family loves epcot. I showed my DD the pictures yesterday and she still prefers AS Movies or AS Music (The statue of ariel is what made her choose this). So we will just have to wait and see what happens.
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