Is Cabana bay the right choice for me?

Discussion in 'Universal Orlando Resorts & Hotels' started by msmama, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. msmama

    msmama DIS Veteran

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    First trip to Universal (well, I was there more than a decade ago which I think qualifies for first trip status) and I'm second guessing...everything.

    With just two of us, my son and I, it looks like I can stay at Cabana bay and purchase the express pass for our length of stay (3 days) and it still comes out cheaper than staying at one of the hotels that comes with the EP. We're going the few days before Easter (end of March) so I'm thinking the EP is a necessity at that time. That said, if any of the other hotels (really just the Royal Pacific, everything else is more $$ that I want to spend) are way cooler for a 9 year old maybe I'm willing to pay the difference (it's about $200).

    But then I started wondering if I should look into something offsite and if so where? The extra hour in the morning is pretty nice (and we're early risers anyway) but is that worth potential savings of saving somewhere else?

    I'm renting a car (because we're headed to Legoland after) so I could drive, but would rather park for the length of our stay and rely on their transportation. Is it as good as Disney's? Is Cabana bay walking distance (can't really tell from a map) if the transportation isn't good?

    Thanks! I decided on this trip yesterday and usually need more planning time than this so I'm fretting.
     
  2. PollyannaMom

    PollyannaMom I was a click-clack champ!!

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    I'm in a similar situation for February, in that we're staying at Cabana Bay with an added Express Pass.

    In the past, we've stayed at the more expensive resorts where it was included, but we booked late (so there wasn't much choice in availability) and DH was too nervous to go without it. -- I'm secretly thrilled, because I think I'll really enjoy the theme, but I had been debating trying it because it didn't have EP. (I wouldn't have sprung for it on my own.)

    I definitely think, since you said you're early risers, that it's worth it for you to stay on site for the early entry. I enjoyed Royal Pacific when we stayed there several years ago, but I definitely don't see it as "cooler" for a 9-year-old. It's fancier, but I would actually expect Cabana Bay to appeal more to a kid. (The exception would be if he really wanted to do the luau at RP - if they even still have that.)

    The things I'm looking forward to at CB are:
    the lazy river (hoping it's warm enough when we're there)
    having a food court right there for breakfast
    the retro theme

    I've started reading here on the boards, and so far, people seem to say the buses come pretty quickly. I've heard walk estimates at 15-20 minutes, if you prefer that. If you're there on a Friday night, it sounds like there is something with characters. There are bowling deals at certain times (if you are interested in that feature) and you can get pizza delivered to your room if you don't want to go out after a long day in the parks.
     
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  4. bobbie68

    bobbie68 DIS Veteran

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    Hi I have stayed at Cabana bay twice and love the property. The bus transportation is great from there. There are always buses and they are quick. I think it is easier then Disney. The bus will drop you off at the main parking garage at city walk. There are many lines to get through security. They have a moving walkway and when you get to then end you go right into city walk then walk a few minutes and decide which park. I personally like it. You could walk it is about 15 minutes on a path. We also this time walked over to Sapphire Falls across the street and took the water taxi one morning for a change.

    I think you will enjoy staying on property and it is well worth it. We won't stay off-site. The pools at Cabana are great. There is a lazy river and a pool on one side. Then the other courtyard has the big pool with slide. I think the atmosphere is fun for kids and adults. I will happily stay here again. We did get a room at Royal Pacific for one night for the EP. However, I had 4 people in my party so it was cheaper to get the room. We visited the resort and used the room but kept our stuff at Cabana Bay. It probably is cheaper with the just the two of you to buy the EP.

    I think your 9 year old will really enjoy Cabana Bay. My teens at 14 did.

    Enjoy!
     
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  5. davper

    davper DIS Veteran

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    If you are renting a vehicle, you will have to pay for parking. Either at the hotel $22 night or at the park $20 day.

    I think CB will be fine for you and your son. I think the rooms are small. It is about 3/4 of a mile walk or you can take one of the many buses to the park.
     
  6. Iluvshoes531

    Iluvshoes531 Earning My Ears

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    We loved Cabana Bay when we stayed there. My son was 6 at the time. I loved having the food court there and we could easily walk to it from our room. The starbucks was also great. The bus service was superb from Cabana Bay and we went during Easter/Spring Break. We never waited for a bus, ever. My son loved the lazy River. They do charge a fee for tubes, I just packed some I had purchased in my luggage and left them at the hotel with another family at the end of our stay. We had also purchased express passes for our stay and I will say we will never tour without them. I hope you have a wonderful time.
     
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  7. wookiebeck

    wookiebeck Fan of both WDW and USO

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    CB is great for what you are trying to do. I find the food court there to be very friendly to the wallet. Especially with youngsters where you are not tied to a large portion at a large price. My daughter had a quick salad one day, a simple sandwich the next.

    We stayed in the summer for a week and did not use EP's. And we love EP's but we decided to save the money this time. Was no biggie. Especially when doing the early entry. Could get five rides in first thing before anyone would conceivably need to use EP. Then we did the resort pools through midday. Back tot he park in evening when crowds were lower.
     
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  8. TommyJK

    TommyJK DIS Veteran

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    Just to correct you, parking at Cabana Bay is $12/night not $22. Have a read here on the Information and Policies tab https://www.universalorlando.com/we...beach-resort/index.html#information-policies And that's the nightly price I recall paying when we were there last.

    To the OP, I think you will LOVE Cabana Bay. For the age of your child, I think it's the best on site property in terms of their Pool area. My kids (8 and 11 the last time we went) liked it much more than RPR
     
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  9. davper

    davper DIS Veteran

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    Then they owe $30. Because I paid $22 when I stayed there 2 years ago.
     
  10. TommyJK

    TommyJK DIS Veteran

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    That is odd. I've stayed there 3 times in the last 4 years and it's always been $12 for me. The other hotels was more.

    Were you paying for Valet parking? Even when we were there where Valet was the only option (because most of the self parking was behind construction for Volcano Bay or the new towers) we were only charged the self park rate.
     
  11. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    If you still have your email receipt, you should definitely send it to them. It has never been more than $12 for self parking, unless you are a day guest.
     
  12. Oshay1

    Oshay1 Earning My Ears

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    CBBR is great and it sounds like you are on the right path with paying for the Express Passes. I think it is definitely worth it to stay on site and the bus system is great. I was just there in August 2017 and self-park was $12.78 with tax.
     
  13. RalphinSC

    RalphinSC Daft Brotherhood of the Ubiquitous Mugshare

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    The transportation at Cabana Bay is superior to Disney's bus transportation. I've never waited for a bus either to or from the parks. I'll even go so far as to say that it is superior to the water taxis at the premium resorts. Just got back from a long weekend at Royal Pacific and more often than not, we had 5-10 minute waits every single time we tried the water taxi. Buses were more efficient, more frequent, and just quicker, IMO.
     

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