Never stayed on property - need opinions

Momof205

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 20, 2018
We are doing a combined Disney and Universal trip. We have never stayed on Universal property and we thought it might be fun because we won't have a car this time around.

We are debating between Royal Pacific, Cabana Bay and Sapphire Falls.

I will be traveling with my husband and twin 14 yr old girls.
Thanks for the help
 
  • cfoxga

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2009
    For a family of four, it is tough to beat RP. You get the express pass and early entry every day, plus it is very close to the park. While there isn't a lazy river like CB, RP has a good pool. The only downside is the room size, with a standard room being pretty tight for 4 people. At CB, we had a family suite with let us spread out a bit more.

    But even with the higher cost of RP, I'd pick it over CB. SF looks very nice and was going to where we stayed on our second trip. But then a good APH rate came up for RP and we switched. Now we're deluxe-only now...
     

    FredPinsocket

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 24, 2019
    Sapphire Falls is great. Nice rooms, solid pool area and Strong Water Tavern is a great place to end the evening.

    Royal Pacific is obviously a step up just from the standpoint of Universal Express Unlimited being included in your room rate.

    Both resorts have water taxi service, which is outstanding.

    I’d say either SF or RP are your best bets.
     

    Princess Minnie321

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 19, 2015
    We always stay at the Royal Pacific for the express pass. It is also walking distance to the parks and they have a boat to take you there.
     

    schumigirl

    It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
    Joined
    May 15, 2007
    Stay at RP for EP....you won`t regret it.

    You can visit the other hotel pools as it is encouraged at the onsite hotels. Many love the lazy river at CB. Sapphire`s pool while pretty, is shallow, but does have a slide. We like the pool at RP over all the other hotels.

    With four of you you`ll be fine in the room at RP. You won`t be in it long except to sleep and change.
     
  • easyas123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 4, 2018
    I've only been once, but we are contemplating another trip in early 202....stayed at Cabana Bay at the suggestion of others we were traveling with.
    I'll never step foot in there again - we are headed to the Royal Pacific next time!
     

    mdsouth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2005
    I've only been once, but we are contemplating another trip in early 202....stayed at Cabana Bay at the suggestion of others we were traveling with.
    I'll never step foot in there again - we are headed to the Royal Pacific next time!
    Why?
     

    easyas123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 4, 2018
    Well - I think what sealed it was our last hour at the resort actually.
    It was a warm, but damp day. As we walked back it started to drizzle. No biggie - as we walked around the pool area to the main lobby we witnessed one group of folks had literally drug the furniture from their room out to the covered sidewalk area, propped open their doors (it seemed so they could get some of the AC - but who really knows) with the TV's/radios blaring and were playing a drinking game and smoking it up. We had to leave the sidewalk area because they had taken it up.
    Oh well - it happens. EXCEPT others must have seen it so we saw three other rooms who had drug out their furniture! It wasn't...a good look for a vacation destination resort.
    We then go into the lobby where we almost tripped over all the kids laying around on the floor.
    Laying and rolling around like they were at a gymnasium. Not the kids fault, adults seemed to think that crowding the area and not watching their bored kids was the way to spend the afternoon. But needing to ask a kid to move so you can get thru the doorway and no one thinking that they ought not be playing RIGHT THERE was bothersome.
    I get it, and I'm usually pretty go with the flow, but the people working at Cabana Bay didn't seem to think that this was a problem. Nor did the employees working the pool area seem to have a issue with folks dragging out their furniture and blocking the sidewalk! It seemed very trashy - more so since Cabana Bay seemed to think that it was fine. THAT'S what really turned us off.
    Other things - almost a hour to check in the evening before. I expected some wait, after all it was evening when we got there. But the line was crazy crowded and there were 5 or 6 people checking folks in. Just didn't seem to interested in moving things along. Again - it was the lackadaisical attitude of generally not really giving a darn that emanated from the employees there. A simple "thanks for your patience, we are working on getting everyone checked in as quickly as we can" would have gone a long way with all the folks waiting in line I think.
    Carpet in our room was frayed and coming up around the entrance door and bathroom door.
    Oh - and loved the pile of dirty towels left in the corner of the bathroom when we checked in!

    Admittedly, we only stayed there one night, and we took the advise of someone else who in the past had good experiences there, so we didn't do much in the way of looking up reviews or anything. And maybe it was just a off day and a crappy room we got. It just wasn't for us at all. and as we were headed to the Contemporary after that, it just made the deficiencies we took note of at Cabana Bay to stand out even more.
     

    mdsouth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2005
    It seemed very trashy - more so since Cabana Bay seemed to think that it was fine. THAT'S what really turned us off.
    I totally understand, this would have been very concerning for me too.
    gain - it was the lackadaisical attitude of generally not really giving a darn that emanated from the employees there. A simple "thanks for your patience, we are working on getting everyone checked in as quickly as we can" would have gone a long way with all the folks waiting in line I think.
    Thank you for your detailed feedback. I agree, it sounds as if the staff does the minimum and do not enforce company policies. Like you, the experience you had would have left a very bad impression in my mind and would cause me not to stay at the Cabana Bay in the future.
     
  • DoryGirl1963

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 14, 2016
    We stayed at Cabana Bay 9/21-9/25 & I gotta agree with easyas123 - we were disappointed in some things.

    We were very happy with our room. Had a family suite in the courtyard side & it was very clean & spacious. That was the best part of our stay except for the buses which were AWESOME - never waited even once, always one right there.

    We also saw the rearranging of furniture from the rooms & pool area thing & thought it odd. The food court quality was very lacking & we're not foodies at all, pretty easy to please (for reference, our go to resort at WDW is All Star Sports if that helps as to what we're happy with.) There was an overall lack of info/communication - something as simple as asking what the dive in movie was that night was met with a shrug & " not sure" & no offer to check for us.

    Also, we're smokers (I know, I know - ugh) but we're hyper vigilant about following the rules. We don't even smoke in our cars or our own home. Folks were smoking anywhere & everywhere & staff walked RIGHT BY without a word. This happened on numerous occasions. Even as smokers we were appalled.

    It didn't ruin our trip. We still had a great time! But we'll choose Sapphire Falls next time if we go without EP.

    We're popping in for 1 night Christmas Eve - it's my husband's birthday & he wants to ride his new favorite ride The Hulk ON his birthday - & we're staying at HRH for that visit.
     

    msjprincess

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2010
    It depends on when you're going. If it's even the least bit busy I would do RP. I stayed at Sapphire Falls 2 weeks ago. The parks were empty. Everything but Hagrid's was a walk on. So I didn't miss the Unlimited Express Pass. I was underwhelmed with the food choices. But it wasn't too big of a deal since it;s a short boat ride from CityWalk or we could walk across the parking lot to the Aventura food court area.
     

    gharter

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2004
    Easy choice. Royal Padific has Express Pass, the others don't. The minimal difference to get the Express pass and a nicer hotel was an easy choice. Loved Royal Pacific, but enjoy Portofino Bay even more.
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates

    DIS INSTAGRAM
    UNIVERSAL PODCASTS


    UNIVERSAL ORLANDO VIDEOS


    UNIVERSAL ATTRACTIONS



    Top