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View Full Version : Back from Vero and VWL - long


littlestar
07-05-2003, 12:57 PM
We spent four days at Disney's Vero Beach. Our impressions:

The Beach - Pleasantly surprised. We thought the beach was very pretty. It sloped. Not flat like the gulf beaches. Vero Beach sand was more of a light tan color. Still pretty and soft on the feet (a little courser feel than gulf beach sand). It reminded us a little of the beaches on Maui - minus the crystal clear coral reef water on Maui of course!

The Resort - Definitely beautiful with a tropical feel. A lot of palm trees and flowering trees. The pool was pretty big. We had no trouble finding a lawn chair (even at 11:00 a.m.) The only restaurants on site were Sonya and Shutters and the pool side snack shop. The pool snack shop stopped serving food (except pizzas) at around 5:30. No sign stating this (a lot of people were waiting in line only to be told this after their wait). They really need a sign. Only one person working the counter at the pool snack shop and answering the phone. Lines would be pretty long at times! This is where we started missing Disneyworld on site amenities and service. If you stay at Vero you really need to stop at the grocery store and have some quick lunches available in your room - you won't be able to get it any other way. The mini golf course was cute - but it had broken items that needed to be fixed. Very un Disney like.

The room - We had an ocean view inn room. The view was great. The room was clean. But, we got a handicapped room. With two women in the room, there was no counter or drawer space for makeup/toiletries. We ended up putting stuff on the floor under the sink- messy. The balcony was big though, must be because of wheelchairs being able to go out there.

The Vero staff - This is hard to describe. The Vero staff weren't rude, but they didn't have that extra "something" that on-site WDW resorts have. Example: There was one ice machine on the 4th floor for the inn rooms. Husband went to get ice one morning and it was broken. He called the front desk. They said sorry. If you walk down to the lobby, they had ice down there and he could come get some. Husband said no thanks. He didn't want to have to wait in the check-in line to get ice. We had this happen at Old Key West last year and when I told a Disney employee she picked me up in a golf cart and took me to get ice and then called maintenance and they were working on the ice machine when we passed back by. We noticed the Vero staff didn't have that extra something like we usually see on Disney property. Vero is beautiful, but three days there would be my max. We got the impression there were a lot of locals staying at Vero. We talked to numerous people who were from Florida. My daughter ran into a church youth group from Florida that were staying there for a retreat. There didn't seem to be as many DVC members as one would normally think.

VWL - After we left Vero it took us about 2 hours to drive back over to VWL. The front desk was great. They got us in a room at 1:00. I told the front desk we had been in a handicap room at Vero and we sure would appreciate a regular room if they could do it. She gave me the choice of three different rooms. We stayed on the 1st floor and actually enjoyed not having to catch an elevator. Didn't see any snakes on the patio (thank goodness!) We throughly enjoyed our visit to the lodge - ran into Ranger Stan and he welcomed us back with a big smile.

Conclusion - The next time we want to see the ocean I want to try Hilton Head. My brother raves about the cast members at Hilton Head. He is planning his 3rd trip there on cash (yes, I told him he really needs to join). We may go back to Vero some day (maybe). And VWL - well, I've got two trips planned already to go back.;)

floridafam
07-05-2003, 01:44 PM
I'm glad you had a good trip.

Yes, at times, there needs to be more people working at the pool side snack bar.

I'm kind of surprised about the mini golf. They had it closed down the entire time we were there in October for rehab-and it needed it.

We have mostly encountered wonderful CM's at VB. A few of the CM's at the check-in desk last time acted like they would rather be any place else but everyone at Shutter's, Sonya's and the snack bar were awesome.

Do you know if they had a seperate place to refill drink mugs or if everyone has to go to Bleachers still when it is really busy?

All in all, it sounds like you had a good trip.
:D

littlestar
07-05-2003, 02:19 PM
Hi floridafam.

The mini golf wasn't horribly messed up, but we noticed styrofoam showing in places (where things had been broken off). Also carpet wrinkling up in areas.

The only place we saw to refill the mugs was at the pool snack bar. It was off to the right side and self serve and hardly ever a line to refill the drinks. It wasn't bad.

All in all, it was a good trip. The Vero resort reminded me of Hawaii in the tropical feel of the place. I just wished the cast members were more like Disney on-site cast members.

Paula H
07-05-2003, 07:03 PM
I enjoyed reading your post. You'll probably find HH to be a totally different experience from VB. Although we liked VB and at some point will probably go back, we much prefer HH. The CMs are surprisingly "Disneyesque" - after a couple of days they knew my very young children by name. Housekeeping/maintenance immediately took care of the couple of issues that arose. HH feels tropical, too, and I think the beach is breathtaking at HH. I much prefer it over VB - (I'm a New Englander - 20 mins. from the "Sound", and HH is my favorite eastern seabord beach.

We've been home just one month from VWL and I"m homesick. Glad you had a good trip.

PamOKW
07-05-2003, 08:23 PM
Maybe you just hit an "off" VB CM or two. My experience has been the opposite. VB CMs usually go the extra mile with a geniuneness that is sometimes lacking at WDW.

I always get out and explore the Vero/Treasure Coast area. I agree that just staying at the resort can get boring unless you are a true sun worshipper.

You are likely to run into Floridians at Vero. It is a popular wedding site where the whole wedding may spend some time in addition to just having the reception at the resort. It is also popular for business retreats/meetings. One trip there was a law firm from Miami that had their employees and their families there for the weekend. (Got to find out how to get hired there!)

Paula H
07-05-2003, 08:36 PM
Another thought re Vero - we noticed, too, that alot of the guests were from Florida. We mentioned this to a CM, and he told us that alot of DVC members are Florida residents and that a good number of them use their points over the course of several weekends throughout the year - like having a beach house (or villa or cottage, etc.) Sounded good to me - too bad the closest DVC resort to me is 15 hours away - makes using it for weekends unlikely!!

PamOKW - I've got get myself a job at that law firm, too! The one I worked for for 10 yrs. would never dream of doing something like that!!!!

SnowWitch
07-05-2003, 11:02 PM
I'm a little disappointed to hear about the putt-putt course still being in disrepair. Everytime we've been it needed a good bit of touch up and when I read on someones post a ways back that it was closed for rehab I was so happy. To bad.

I'm with PamOKW, we have always had very positive CM experiences. We had trouble with our garbage disposal on our last trip ,the maintaince man was there to fix it in 15 minutes and washed our dishes!

donald@home
07-05-2003, 11:17 PM
I too have had the opposite experience to yours. I have always thought the VB cast members have taken the lead over the WDW cast members in regards to service and friendliness. I haven't been to Vero for about a year, so maybe it has slipped a bit. I hope not.

mbhoxsie
07-06-2003, 12:48 PM
Thanks for the trip report! I can't wait until we go back in December!

ncligs
07-06-2003, 01:16 PM
Thanks for taking the time for the trip report. We leave tomorrow morning for VB.:bounce: We are staying(5 nites) in the Inn for the 1st time. Booked at the 7 month window using leftover OKW pts.Requested direct ocean view,top floor, and keeping our fingers crossed.

CaptainMidnight
07-06-2003, 01:40 PM
ncligs,
Have a great, wonderful time. Looking forward to your trip reports.

ncligs
07-06-2003, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by CaptainMidnight
ncligs,
Have a great, wonderful time. Looking forward to your trip reports.

Thanks...........I will try to do 1 "live report from VB" http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/family/splat.gif.

littlestar
07-06-2003, 04:13 PM
ncligs,

Have a good trip. Disney's Vero really is a beautiful resort. My favorite spot at the main inn was the rocking chairs on the back porch that face the ocean side. There always seemed to be a good breeze coming through that area. Perfect!

colleen costello
07-06-2003, 10:53 PM
Nick and Cindy, have a great trip. And Littlestar, definitely give HH a try. I felt the "magic" way up in South Carolina! Most of the cm's were college program kids. They seem to trade off on jobs -- lifeguarding, campfire, rental booths, kids' prorams. I saw a few of them over and over again and they were so sweet. We had a mixup with our dolphin cruise -- they cancelled really early, due to weather, and by our scheduled time the weather was great. I was really teed off as all the other times were booked. I called a manager and she was so great -- apologized and made plans for us with another boat (non-Disney). It all worked out great and I felt they had gone the extra mile for me! THey all had big smiles for all the children in our group and overall we LOVED the whole place. Hope to go back next summer IF I have any points left!