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Old 03-23-2012, 05:47 PM   #1381
saskdw
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Originally Posted by wendiloveswalt View Post
We stayed 3-3 through 3-10. I will start with the cons so that I can end with the pros. Con: Bell Services. We had driven 12 hours with 2 young kids and a woman who's 6 months preggo (me) so we were TIRED. We had a lot of stuff and really wanted help with it (or at least a cart to use). We were told to go to our room and someone would meet us there. After 45 minutes of waiting and a dinner reservation to get to we gave up and decided to try again later in the evening. Well, 10:30 p.m. rolled around and we called again. We were told someone would be by shortly. No one ever came so we unloaded it all ourselves at midnight. The party we were traveling with flew and used ME. They didn't get their luggage until 1 am. Needless to say, we didn't make it to RD the next day CON: Dining locations on property. The food was good, but the resort simply does not have restaurants large enough to support the amount of guests. Cafe Rix was mass chaos in the morning. There were always long lines and people filling their mugs had to push through the crowd to get to the drink station. It was not a good way to start the day. We're prepared to stand in lines at the parks, but would like our resort to be our chill zone where we can relax. PM's buffet was great, but there was always a line to be seated. I guess if you get there right when they open it might be better. The Laguna Bar also had problems. It wasn't an issue for me because I couldn't drink (preggo), but my hubbie wanted to have a couple drinks one evening by the lake and there were so many conventioners that he had to wait 30 mins to get one beer. They only had 1 bartender during a peak time! Also, the bartender at the pool bar was rude - not the Disney attitude at all. CON: Preferred room, REALLY? We paid for a preferred room to be close to El Centro. I can see where Casitas 1 and 3 are preferred, but charging for building 2 is quite a stretch. It was certainly walkable, but still took a while (and I'm a quick walker,even pregnant). We did NOT get our money's worth for this upgrade. CON: I guess I should have put this under the dining comments that I already made, but I forgot. The snack bar at the pool was also lacking in the service area. I went to get my mug refilled and stood there while members of management were milling around writing down what supplies need to be ordered and talking to the girl who was supposed to be waiting on guests. She finally came to the window, but filled my mug with the wrong thing and then disappeared again. I couldn't believe how much I was ignored. CON: Bus service. The only day that we committed to making it to RD we got to our stop at 7:45 for an opening at 9. There were 2 AK buses, 2 epcot buses and a HS bus that stopped before we got an MK bus. That was at 8:15. We did make it to RD,but only with minutes to spare. Most mornings were a little better than that, but at night they were so packed and uncomfortable and we had to wait at least 20 mins every time.

Ok, so now that I've bummed you out a little, I will end on a high note with my Pros. PRO: Overall beauty of the resort. It was maintained and decorated with the same attention to detail and poshness as that of a deluxe resort. All of the facilities were very clean and kept up. PRO: Mousekeeping. Our Mousekeeper did a fantastic job all week. Several times she made special scenes on the bed with our kids' toys. One was a boat made out of towels with Donald and Jake as captains and named it S.S. Disney. This was so special. She always responded to requests for more shampoo or coffee (you do need to request these though, I think it's a policy not to automatically refill). PRO: The dig site. The theming, water slide and playground were all beautiful; even better than some deluxe resorts. The DJ added a great atmosphere to the already fun pool area. The free life vests were a definite plus too. PRO: The rooms. The room was very spacious. The seperate vanity area was a great idea. The beds were big and comfy. We liked our room here much better than our room at WL. PRO: Food. The food at PM was great. The pastries and egg sandwiches at Cafe Rix were good. The food at the pool snack bar was also very good.

Overall, I would give CSR a C+. Beautiful resort who's services need to be expanded to accommodate its occupancy. Would I stay here again? Maybe, when my kids are older and if the price is right. **My advice to families with young children: Even if you have to wait a little longer to save up money, stay on the MR or at a resort that has direct access to at least one park. The bus experience is really hard at night with a stroller and sleeping kids (especially if it's standing room only).**
We've had 2 long 14 night stays at CSR the last 2 Christmas which is the busiest time of year. Both times the Bell service was excellent. Last Dec. we literally had people tripping over themselves to help us. They didn't initially have us in the section we asked for, but imediately switched us. Very pleased with the whole check-in process, we were treated like VIP's the whole time.

The key to PM and Cafe Rix is the time you go there. We always head down there at "off" times and never have any problems, but I can see at the peak times it can get quite crowded at any of the resort food courts. Never used the pool service so I can't comment on that. At Christmas time there are no conventions at CSR so conventioneers weren't an issue. Convention could be a problem at certain times, but we always go at Christmas so we have never experienced any problems. I preferred to grab a 6-pack at Panchitos and have a drink by the quiet pool at night anyway.

Have never experienced any problems with the bus service to/from the parks. Has always been adequate IMO.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:03 PM   #1382
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The machine looks like it's a "Cuisinart Double Coffee Pod Brewer WCM11". The information I've found says it takes "standard coffee pods". Descriptive, right? You should be able to find them at Target or Wal-Mart but I would suggest Bed, Bath and Beyond if you have one near you for a better selection of more gourmet coffees.
Thanks! I went by Bed bath and beyond and didnt see any-

I wondering if anyone can post a pic of the coffee pod itself?
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:15 PM   #1383
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We have 2 preferred rooms booked for Sept. One is for my mother who has trouble walking and I booked them to be close to the restaurants. What does everyone think. Should I call and request Casitas bldg. 1? A previous poster said casitas 2 if kind of far away from el centro.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:43 PM   #1384
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I know someone who was there the exact same dates as you. Their only complaint was the buses. They said when leaving MK at closing they watched multiple buses go by for other resorts before one came for CSR. The wait was over 40 minutes and the bus was packed to the gills. Same problem in the morning. They waited well over 20 minutes every day. Apparently it was a bad week for CSR buses.
I guess it is all in how you hit them. We were at CSR March7-13, and we had very little trouble with the buses. I did notice that Disney doesn't have as many waiting at park close as they used to, but that seemed to be the same for all resorts. One time waiting to leave Epcot, only 1 resort had a bus! That would never have been the case 5 years ago. Usually though we had very minimal waits for the buses.

I will totally agree with the Cafe Rix problems. We tried to get a roll and some juice on morning, and you could hardly move in there! That area is way too small for a resort of that size. We never went back again in the morning, it was beyond ridiculous.

I want to ask wendiloveswalt when did your friends check in to the resort? When it is busy it may take up to 4 hours after check in for your luggage to show up in your room. That is true of every Disney resort, not just CSR.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:27 PM   #1385
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We have 2 preferred rooms booked for Sept. One is for my mother who has trouble walking and I booked them to be close to the restaurants. What does everyone think. Should I call and request Casitas bldg. 1? A previous poster said casitas 2 if kind of far away from el centro.
Yes I would. Request again at check-in if they don't have you in Casitas 1. We requested top floor water view Casitas 4 last time. When we went ot check-in they had us in Casitas 5. I asked if they could honor our request and with-in a couple of minutes they gave me a choice of 6 room locations to pick from. We ended up with the exact room we wanted. Very pleased with the front desk staff. Usually if there is medical reasons they will bend over backwards to accomodate.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:36 PM   #1386
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Aubriee did a great job answering your questions, I just have one thing to add. Have your TA add the room requests as Aubriee said.... However, if you have room requests your better off not using Online Checkin. Online Checkin is meant for a fast track checkin. Also, being your first time, regular checkin will spend more time going over your packet with you. Online checkin they kind of just hand it to you...

HTH. Have a great belated Honeymoon. Glad you are healthy enough for a WDW trip!
Thank you so much for the tip, both of you, and for the kind words. I paid off the trip yesterday so I feel like it's official now. So as to not take anyone's time asking questions,. I will probably go to the regular check-in line.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:56 PM   #1387
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The size is greatly exaggerated IMO, don't worry about it.
I agree. I was worried about the size too, but it doesn't really feel that big.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:08 AM   #1388
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Eh, a few days in when your feet hurt and you're exhausted, that walk from Ranchos 7A to El Centro is loooooong. From anywhere else, probably not so bad.

As for the busses, it was really hit or miss, but we never waited more than 20 minutes, which is "technically" (I think) the approximate wait time posted anyway. The monorails were closed during the day during our visit (3/3-3/10), but it had no bearing on travel to/from CSR.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:16 AM   #1389
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I'm sorry if this has been asked and answered (I did read the first few pages but not all 51!). Does Panchito's have milk to purchase in larger than a single serving size (for example, half gallon) that could be kept in the room fridge? How late are they open? We will be checking in around 11:00 pm (or later) next Thursday and I'd love to be able to buy milk for my daughter for the next day when we check in to save us a trek back to El Centro in the morning.

Thanks!
On our last visit we arrived about midnight after flight delays....anyway my son really likes a glass of milk before bed. Pan hits was closed but when we mentioned this to the CM at check in she called someone and we were able to buy milk. A nice CM brought it right to check in and while we waited the front desk CM gave our son stickers and a balloon. If you arrive after Panchitos is closed....you can just ask fit the 1/2 gallon of milk. This really surprised us.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:47 AM   #1390
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I guess it is all in how you hit them. We were at CSR March7-13, and we had very little trouble with the buses. I did notice that Disney doesn't have as many waiting at park close as they used to, but that seemed to be the same for all resorts. One time waiting to leave Epcot, only 1 resort had a bus! That would never have been the case 5 years ago. Usually though we had very minimal waits for the buses.

I will totally agree with the Cafe Rix problems. We tried to get a roll and some juice on morning, and you could hardly move in there! That area is way too small for a resort of that size. We never went back again in the morning, it was beyond ridiculous.

I want to ask wendiloveswalt when did your friends check in to the resort? When it is busy it may take up to 4 hours after check in for your luggage to show up in your room. That is true of every Disney resort, not just CSR.
The party that used ME checked in at about 10 pm. I'm sure what you said is true and that all resorts have a similar issue. I think our biggest frustration was with Bell Services not responding to us earlier in the day and again that night when we already had our luggage and just wanted help or a cart.

As far as the buses, I'm sure some of it was bad luck and our frustration was intensified by having young children and a double stroller to wrestle with. We've decided that until our children are more independent and we no longer have a stroller we will save up our $$ for a resort closer to the parks that don't rely so much on the buses. We stayed at WL 2 years ago and had the most wonderful, relaxing experience because we just had to hop on the boat to MK, even leaving our kids in the stroller (this helped a lot at night when they fell asleep because we didn't have to move them). Also, the quick service there was never packed so it was easy to grab something on our way to the parks. We knew taking the buses was going to be a different experience for us this time, but we didn't expect it to be as bad as it was.

I do want to share something that we learned a little too late in the week that some may already know: the little espresso bar just outside of PM has assorted patries and will fill your mugs. There was never a line there so I suggest that if you want something snackish and quick, you go there.

I know my review came off too negative. I simply was giving our opinion based on our experience. It truly is a lovely resort with much to offer. Again, if we had kids a little bit older we would consider staying there again.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:53 AM   #1391
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On our last visit we arrived about midnight after flight delays....anyway my son really likes a glass of milk before bed. Pan hits was closed but when we mentioned this to the CM at check in she called someone and we were able to buy milk. A nice CM brought it right to check in and while we waited the front desk CM gave our son stickers and a balloon. If you arrive after Panchitos is closed....you can just ask fit the 1/2 gallon of milk. This really surprised us.
Thanks! That is good to know. I'll definitely ask if they are closed. Looks like we will be down there at the same time as you - we leave in 5 days too!
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:21 PM   #1392
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The party that used ME checked in at about 10 pm. I'm sure what you said is true and that all resorts have a similar issue. I think our biggest frustration was with Bell Services not responding to us earlier in the day and again that night when we already had our luggage and just wanted help or a cart.

As far as the buses, I'm sure some of it was bad luck and our frustration was intensified by having young children and a double stroller to wrestle with. We've decided that until our children are more independent and we no longer have a stroller we will save up our $$ for a resort closer to the parks that don't rely so much on the buses. We stayed at WL 2 years ago and had the most wonderful, relaxing experience because we just had to hop on the boat to MK, even leaving our kids in the stroller (this helped a lot at night when they fell asleep because we didn't have to move them). Also, the quick service there was never packed so it was easy to grab something on our way to the parks. We knew taking the buses was going to be a different experience for us this time, but we didn't expect it to be as bad as it was.

I do want to share something that we learned a little too late in the week that some may already know: the little espresso bar just outside of PM has assorted patries and will fill your mugs. There was never a line there so I suggest that if you want something snackish and quick, you go there.

I know my review came off too negative. I simply was giving our opinion based on our experience. It truly is a lovely resort with much to offer. Again, if we had kids a little bit older we would consider staying there again.
Your review wasn't overly negative. I wasn't really poking at your review as much as providing more info for the inexperienced that might be reading. The food court is crowded at the normal meal times at all the Mod and Value resorts. For those who are like me and hate the crowds, make a point of eating at off meal times and its usually pretty quick. We ordered some stuff from Garden Grocer and ate breakfast in the room most mornings and ate lunch after the rush if we were at the resort. My main point is this isn't exclusive to CSR, it's the same at all the Mod/Value resorts and maybe the Deluxe too. Maybe Bell service drops off later at night, but when we arrived at 4pm ish and 6pm ish the time before it was excellent. I've always been satisfied with the bus service at DW, but I probably have more realistic expectations than most people and a better sense of time. Numerous times I've overheard people at the busstops complaining they've been waiting for 1/2 hour and I look at my watch and they've been standing there for 8 mins...lol.

There is definately little things that happen along the way that impact how you feel about a vacation though, sometimes its luck of the draw!
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:47 PM   #1393
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Enjoyed the in-depth review by wendiloveswalt...we just stayed at CSR earlier this month and absolutely loved it...was just hubby and I and it was perfect for us and in fact couldn't have been better...we were in casitas 3 and found it to be very convenient and the rooms to be gorgeous and the beds to die for...

But, our prior stay and most likely our next stay are with adult kids, spouses and little grandkids and we both think that this probably won't be where we will choose to stay with them, as the resort is simply is way too spread out and as the review pointed out the food court is not adequate (and is TINY compared to food courts at other resorts and really is just a small takeout restaurant) and not enough other food options...on our last stay with the kids and grandkids we had family suites and rooms at All Star Music which worked out very well (although not as nice as CSR!!), and I expect we will look into Art of Animation or one of the villa resorts, or if we are staying at a moderate will do POFQ as it is not nearly as spread out...
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:22 PM   #1394
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RaJust checked in at CSR! We are in Ranchos 6B. Wifi works, we have the new coffee makers, corner room- it's lovely!
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:44 PM   #1395
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RaJust checked in at CSR! We are in Ranchos 6B. Wifi works, we have the new coffee makers, corner room- it's lovely!
Great to hear. Have a wonderful time!
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