PDA

View Full Version : 11 Nights at CBR--the Good, the Bad and the Ugly


MFLetou
12-19-2009, 10:23 PM
This is the first of several of these I hope to do--one of the theme parks, and one on dining. Perhaps one on transportation as well.

For a little background, our visit was 12/2-12/12. The traveling party consisted of my parents--age 73 and 61, myself and my wife (29) and our two kids (just about 3 years old and 7 months). We stayed in two rooms at the Carribean Beach Resort.

The Good:
-First and foremost, our room requests were met. I was doubtful because the resort was at capacity. I had requested adjoining rooms in Jamaica 45. We got adjoining rooms in Jamaica 44. Close enough. Having adjoining rooms with the kids was a godsend.

-Jamaica was a great location. We had booked standard view rooms and got a corner room on a courtyard--very pleasant. It was near a DSA which I was concerned about but it was sparsley used (I'll address that in the "bad"). Jamaica is about a 5 minute walk across the bridge to Old Port Royale, and also the first stop for buses most of the time. If you want to be within walking distance of OPR and aren't afraid of crossing a rather oddly shaped bridge (too narrow and a bit steep), Jamaica is perfect. Also, very close to parking lots for our rental van, without actually looking at them.

-The carpets and furniture were fresh and in good condition. As one would expect, given the recent refurbishments of the rooms. Still, clean is good.

-The Turkey BLT sandwiches at the deli were excellent, as were the unique potato chips that had some kind of jerk seasoning on them. They were large and an excellent value, especially for WDW.

-Mousekeeping didn't do anything special, but they were competent and did a good job each day. The rooms were cleaned quite thoroughly and everything was organized. They were also flexible--both of my parents got sick at various points (long story that will show up in my dining review when I get there) and were stuck in the room all day, but mousekeeping worked around them and came back to clean. Appreciated.

-Landscaped is nice, the grounds are all in good shape and the buildings looks fresh.

The Bad
-The employees were just not very friendly. We encountered literally zero cast members that stand out for friendliness in any way. It was no different than shopping at Target--a few that were out and out rude, and most just indifferent. Not what I expect from Disney.

-The room quality is still not very good. You must understand what you are getting going in--the linens, bedding, etc is all low quality. Think Holiday/Ramada Inn.

-DSAs are routinely ignored. People that smoke do so right outside their rooms. If I had a room near somebody doing that, it might have bothered me.

-The food court options are not as good as other mods, specifically Port Orleans. For instance, at CBR, cake comes pre packaged in small, overpriced portions. At POR, the bakery serves fresh slices that are not prepackaged. (Hey, its the little things.) Also, the layout isn't great and the lines were almost always long, as not all registers were opened. The theming and loyout of the food court at POR is far superior.

The Ugly
-HVAC is a disaster in these rooms. It is impossible to get them to a decent, consistent temperature. This time of year--when the weather see saws--its maddening. The HVAC units themselves are old and cheap--they lack an "auto" feature which is the cause of the problem. You have to manually put it on hot air or cold air--and hot gets really hot, really fast, even if you moderate the dial into the neutral area, and likewise for cold. That means you are generally either hot or cold. And the units are very noisy.

-The rooms are moisture chambers. I have a mold allergy that was off the charts by first thing in the morning--I literally woke up having difficulty breathing. You can see condensation on the windows of every room. This is not unique to CBR--I had the same problem at POR a few years ago. It seems to be a design problem with the mods.

-The engines of our JetBlue A320 made less noise than the toilets flushing. You can hear them all over the buildings. The toilets themselves are shaped so that TP gets stuck in the front of the bowl, and then actually flushing the thing is unbelieveably noisy--if somebody in your room is sleeping, forget about it.

-Seating is inadequate during peak hours at the food court. During breakfast hours, they opened up Shutters for seating, and still there is not enough seats. We had to lurk and vulture for 10 minutes just to get a seat for 4. The breakfast options are randomly spread so that if one person wants something at a different station, you've got to wait in a long, long line. Not good.

So, overall, a mixed bag. Because POR was full of Pop Warner people, I'm glad I was at CBR for this trip. The location of our room was probably the single most important thing, and that was a factor.

For $96 a night, I suppose we got what we paid for. As mods go, I did prefer POR, although my last experience there was not very good. I just think I've reached a point where I'm not that excited about staying at a mod anymore. The cost cutting and budget cuts really do show up--there's no way Disney should have left those old HVAC units in the rooms when they rehabbed them, but they just were too cheap to actually replace them, for instance. And the employees--(not just at CBR)--just not what you expect.

But at the end of the day, CBR was neither a detriment nor a positive in our trip--it was sort of neutral.

Sue M
12-19-2009, 11:28 PM
Sorry your stay at CBR was dissapointing. We stayed there in Jamaica 42, Aug 07 and had a wonderful stay. We loved the location too. Found the CMs very friendly and had a wonderful mousekeeper. I guess Aug is less crowded, cause we found room at food court to not be a problem. Didn't have a problem with a/c either temp wise, but there are noisy!
i agree, I liked the food court at POR better, we stayed last Aug. And we did have a problem with smokers sitting outside their room on the walkway smoking pipes. We had to pass by all the time on our way out and it was annoying. While we were on out way to the gift shop I stoped by the desk and reported it. they sent security to deal with it, and there wasn't a problem after.
Hope the rest of your trip went better for you.

MFLetou
12-20-2009, 12:14 AM
Well, it wasn't bad. I'm not even sure I'd call it disappointing. Just sort of...neutral. Hopefully the review was balanced enough to give that impression, as there were high points.