Port Orleans Riverside or Caribbean Beach Resort?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by Sommery, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Sommery

    Sommery Earning My Ears

    Aug 18, 2010
    Hello everyone! I'm new here... I am currently planning my second trip ever for September 2011 with my mom and my (will be) 4 year old daughter. My first trip was August 2009 with my (then) 8 and 12 year old daughters. Last time we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside in the Magnolia Bend section and just loved it. We paid extra for a "water view" room but have decided it's not really worth the extra money to see the corner of the pool if you stretch your neck over the railing and look really hard. Also our room was right near a loud air conditioning unit. Thankfully we couldn't really hear it from inside the room. Aside from that we were right near a quiet pool which we used more than the feature pool - mostly late at night to cool down before bed. My mom especially liked this resort and would like to go back there. I, on the other hand, would like to try something different. Since I am paying for this trip (she covered the last one), I have the final say. Of course, we both agree that we'd enjoy sleeping on park benches if that's what we had to do.

    I am leaning towards the Caribbean Beach Resort. We had dinner there at Shutters last time, and I thought the resort was beautiful. Aside from the Polynesian, the Beach Club and Animal Kingdom resorts (all deluxe, and way out of my price range) this is the resort I remember liking. Also, I heard they just refurbished their feature pool and have a zero depth entry and a children's play area - which I think would be good for my 4 year old (who would LIVE in water if she could). We plan to rent a car for our visit.

    So... Anyone have any thoughts to help me come to a final decision. I have not booked yet, but will be in the next month or so, so I can lock-in the free dining.
  2. luvmikids

    luvmikids DIS Veteran

    May 27, 2006
    subbing on this thread. We actually just booked our trip for Feb and FD!!! at CBR. This is our first time at this resort, we have always stayed at POR. I am excited for FD and CBR since we have never experienced any of these perks:):cool1:
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  4. Sommery

    Sommery Earning My Ears

    Aug 18, 2010
    Congrats! Let me know what you think. By the time you go, I'll have already booked my trip. I'm pretty much decided on CBR. The only issue I have is the size of the resort. I don't want to have to walk for miles to get to the main building. I think I'll just have to shell out the extra for the preferred room.

    We had FD on our last trip, but we upgraded it to the Deluxe Dining. We just had to pay the difference between the regular and the deluxe. It was totally worth it. We didn't have to worry about food at all. The only problem we had was that we overbooked ourselves. We had ADR's for almost every single meal so spent a bit of time making sure we were in the right place at the right time. On this trip we have agreed to limit ourselves to one or two ADR's a day.
  5. snykymom

    snykymom Still tagless after all these years

    Jul 2, 2008
    If you're renting a car, why not just drive to the main building? Why pay extra?
  6. Scubee

    Scubee DIS Veteran

    Oct 30, 2009
    We stayed in a pirate-themed room. There was only one building farther from Old Port Royale than ours. With DS3 in a storller and DS7 along for the walk, it took about 8 minutes to get from our room to OPR. It's not miles per se, but it is very spread out. We walked it a few times if we had nowhere else to go, and we drove when we wanted to save time.

    The CBR thread is a great place to find more info: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2495213
  7. FirestoneRocks

    FirestoneRocks Related to a Disney castmember...and lovin' it!

    Jun 14, 2010
    I've stayed in both and I don't think you can go wrong with either one. They are both beautiful.

    My kids really love the POR pool, but I'm sure they would love the new CBR pool as well (we have not been there since the new pool has opened)

    Good luck with your decision and have a great trip!
  8. dmmichelle

    dmmichelle Mouseketeer

    May 22, 2007
    We stayed at POR on our first Disney family vacation in 2008 (Alligator Bayou section) and at CBR (Pirate Room) in 2009. We loved both. The pool at CBR is really the crown jewel of the resort in my opinion and the kids loved it...we spent a lot of time on-site and enjoyed both properties immensely. I would have to say POR is a bit more lush and the pathways more secluded and scenic which I loved but my BOYS loved CBR the best because of the room (of course) the pool and the gift shop. They loved POR at the time but decided after being at CBR that POR was too lovey-dovey....hahaha! Gotta love kids! :love:
    CBR was quite a bit of walking but it didn't bother us. I can see it being a headache if you had toddlers though. We really liked Shutters and I hear the "nemo" rooms are nice as well. I thnk you're right though - either way you can't go wrong but I'm like you - I'd want to try a different resort. We are staying at FW Cabins when we return in 2011. Another exciting adventure to look forward to!! :banana:
  9. the.sandman

    the.sandman Earning My Ears

    Jul 30, 2010
    weve stayed in both resorts and loved them both, my only slight gripe with the CBR is the size of the resort espescialy with young kids. we stayed in the pirate rooms which were lovely but about a 15 min walk to the Old Port Royale area (we are pretty fit so could walk quite fast) where as POR is quite a bit closer (weve stayed in both AB and MB). The pirate rooms are lovely so for us it was worth it, also as snykymom says you could always drive to OPR area. a very difficult choice but no matter which one you choose you will love them both. :thumbsup2
  10. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

    Oct 2, 2006
    While we have never stayed at Port Orleans, we have stayed at the CBR five years in a row. We absolutely love the resort and have already booked our 2011 stay there.

    Yes, the resort is spread out. But, to me, that's actually a good thing. The guests are distributed throughout the resort and we never feel crowded. We have been in Jamaica 41 twice, Martinique 23, 25 and 26. Even when staying in the standard rooms, our walk to Old Port Royale was never more than 5 minutes.

    I like the fact that we can either go to the main pool and swim or we can stay in our resort village and swim in the quiet pool. The main pool is awesome. It is zero entry with two slides and a play area for the kids. For the adults, there are two hot tubs near the main pool.

    We've watched the higher Epcot fireworks from the resort island, Old Port Royale and from the Martinique beach. Granted, it's only the higher ones you see but it's still nice to sit and watch.

    On our "off days", we often rent one of the watercraft or surrey bikes from the CBR marina. It's a nice way to see the resort.

    We have never had any issues with the bus transportation. The buses have always run efficiently and, since the resort is centrally located, it doesn't take long to get to anywhere on Disney property.

    I just posted lots of pictures on the CBR picture thread and I have some in both of my trip reports. Just click on one of the links below to have a look around.
  11. Amy&Dan

    Amy&Dan DIS Veteran

    Feb 19, 2004
    I agree with the above poster about it being a good thing the resort is spread out a bit. With such a large amount of rooms, can you imagine if all those guests didn't have a big resort to spread out in?

    The thing about CBR is that ALL villages have a quiet pool and bus stop. There is also an internal shuttle. You can catch that bus at any bus stop and it will take you to any area of the resort you want to go to. It just runs the loop all day and evening, it never leaves the resort.

    There is no area of CBR that is further than a ten minute leisurely walk, most are much closer. I actually timed this a few years ago when we stayed there, I wanted to see for myself and also we were planning on going with my inlaws for a future trip and CBR was one of our resort choices and they had asked about distances and were worried. Our Barbados location had us about 5 minutes from the food court. We were in between the quiet pools in Martinique and the one in Barbados so that was also very nice.

    The only rooms that now will be that 10 minute walk are the pirate themed rooms which are separate booking categories and cost extra. Any other type room you book will be closer and if you book preferred location you'll be just a couple of minutes from the main area.

    But back to the original question! I have stayed at all the moderates and love them all. I don't think you can make a bad choice. I do think for a four year old, CBR's main pool is ideal and the fact its had a recent redo is also nice. POR is also very spread out, we stayed in bldg 37 our first trip there and if you look at a map you can see its one of the furthest from the main area. So POR has some outlying sections as well. To me they are both about even in size but POR does not have an internal shuttle.

    POR and CBR are both lovely resorts. Maybe give CBR a try for a change of pace!
  12. CLR4321

    CLR4321 DIS Veteran

    Jan 27, 2009
    With CBR, from what I have gathered, its one of those places where you either love it or hate it. I personally was pretty unimpressed with it. We stayed in a pirate room. While the pirate room was well themed, my husband hated the beds - he had trouble sleeping. The pirate beds are different than any other beds we have slept on at WDW. I am pretty sure this is due to the design of the "pirate ships". The resort is huge. It would be a pretty long walk to get to OPR, and even further yet to get to the custom house. There is a bus to get around on however. I prefer being able to walk the entire resort without a bus. The pool is located at OPR also....of course the quiet pool is closer - there is a quiet pool in each "village", and each village has it's own bus stop - so walking is not far to get to the bus, both around the resort and to the parks. The beach was nice, however it was too cold and windy (end of Feb 2010) to enjoy it. I imagine the hammocks get taken up quickly, I believe there was maybe 5 of them? at our village beach.
    I can say that I preferred my stay at Pop in a preferred room over CBR. We just booked our 2nd stay at POR the other day! I would love to try out POFQ, however we have a group of 5 this time, so we had to do POR. I will say that the kids pool at CBR is awesome! My son didn't get to enjoy it as it closed at 7pm everyday while we were there. My son dared to venture into the main pool, and lasted less than 5 mins in there - it was 55 degrees out at the time! There is a hot tub though, which had guests in it everytime we looked out there. The food court was by far superior at POR versus CBR. POR is the best food court I have eaten at!
    So this is my honest opinion. I hope you have a magical time, whichever resort you pick! :wizard:
  13. Momof2Disneyboys

    Momof2Disneyboys DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    My 2 favorite resorts ~ CBR and POR!! :goodvibes

    You really can't go wrong with either. Both are very spacious, lush, and beautiful. Also very relaxing and family friendly.

    I do give a slight edge to CBR for larger rooms, themed rooms, IllumiNations views, Caribbean theme, and a better main pool. But we wouldn't hesitate to go back to either.

    We stayed at both in 2009. Here are my reviews:
    CBR http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2074555
    POR http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2333071

    Good luck with your decision! :wizard:
  14. teddygurl28

    teddygurl28 DIS Veteran

    Apr 24, 2008
    i have a love affair with both....CBR was the first hotel i stayed at in the 80;s right when it opened, then i stayed there with friends for a high school gradutation trip in 2002. then 2 yrs ago i stayed at POR with my fiancee who hadnt been in 10 yrs so it was like seeing disney through a kids eyes all over again. I agree cbr is spread out, but neither time did i have issues. i remember when i was really little playing in the playground ( not sure exactly where it is) and it was just tons of fun ( go figure im at disney and want to play on a slide!) maybe if you stay at POR and request the aligator bayu it would give the resort a different feel...many people rave about it ( im more of the magnolia side type of girl) each resort has the same amount of bus stops since POR and POFQ generally share you have honestly narrowed it down to 2 fantastic resorts and you wont be disapointed either way you go

    and besides, whatever you choose to do this time, you have an excuse to go back again just to try the other location :rotfl:
  15. Sommery

    Sommery Earning My Ears

    Aug 18, 2010
    Guess I just abandoned my OWN thread...:rolleyes1 Sorry. Thanks for all the input!

    As it turned out we ended up at CBR, pretty far from OPR (I think we were in Aruba.) We didn't pay extra for a closer building. We all had a lovely time and I wish I could go back NOW. But... we are planning a trip for next year at Art of Animation with the whole family*.

    I am beginning to plan the next trip now - planning is one of my favorite things about going!:cheer2:

    *In 2009 I only brought my older kids and in 2011 I only brought the "baby" - along with my mother both times. Our next trip will include all three of my girls, my mom and her husband - which is why we are doing a family suite at AOA.
  16. buzznina

    buzznina DIS Veteran

    Oct 18, 2007
    Our family actually likes walking around the resort, even after a long day at the parks, so the size of the resort is not an issue for us. It comes down to queen beds vs the full beds at CBR and we pick queen beds:) especially if we are paying about the same price. Plus the boat to DTD, Yeehaa Bob and being able to go to POFQ.
  17. donaldude

    donaldude Mouseketeer

    Apr 23, 2006
    For my family that's an easy decision. POR!
  18. Asc341

    Asc341 Mouseketeer

    Jan 3, 2013
    I know that this is an old thread, but in case someone is puzzled with this dilemma now, I stayed at both the CBR and POR in 2012. In a nutshell, both my DF and I much preferred the POR; it seems newer, more lively and more easy to navigate, and the boat to DTD is a great feature!

    As someone who has stayed in deluxe hotels (GF, CR BCR and the poly) I was SO impressed with POR and will likely stay there again. The rooms in POR feel new, and you can tell that great care has been taken to ensure their quality. The main area of the hotel is very lively, gorgeous at night, and to be honest, feels purely magical. The lobby transported us to an elegant and elaborate southern mansion, which was truly breathtaking to take in.

    (I love CBR so it pains me to say this,) but the first thing we noticed when we got into the room was that it smelled funny. It had that old, musty smell to it, and it felt that way too. The smell dissipated within 24 hours, but still, the room lacked the brightness that one expects of the caribbean. Old Port Royale was fun and lively, but was missing that magic that POR had. IMO, the pool at CBR is better, but I didn't love it enough to convince me to stay there again. Overall, is seems that CBR could use a little restoration love.

    To a certain extent, to compare the hotels one must split hairs; at the end of the day, they are both wonderful, and far better than most hotels outside of Disney!
  19. Sommery

    Sommery Earning My Ears

    Aug 18, 2010
    Hi:) We ended up doing CBR, and while we quite enjoyed it (especially the pool bar) we liked POR better as well. I can definitely agree with your assessment.

    Also, they have updated the rooms at POR since we were there (2009), I believe. I hope to stay there again!
  20. Missytara

    Missytara I'm all ears!

    Apr 3, 2009
    I have stayed at both POR and CBR and much preferred POR for two big standout reasons. Being an architect, I noticed this right away.

    The site layout for CBR is very elongated, making for some of the buildings to be extraordinarily far from the main building. POR is much rounder, therefore even through there are remote areas of the resort, it is not nearly as many rooms as CBR.

    Second, at CBR, you are basically walking through the parking lot to get to your building from the bus stop - the entire walking distance. At POR, you are walking on the sidewalk next to the parking lot (not nearly as hot) and as soon as you hit the first building, you are walking in the shade under the overhang of the corridor above. Even through you may have to walk to another building, there is a lot more landscaping and shade. Much easier to walk back at the end of a warm day.
  21. elaw

    elaw DIS Veteran

    Jul 9, 2011
    I'm with you! (about walking around the resort) ... even though it seems we're in the minority, and I can understand for those with little ones, we love taking long walks around the Moderates. POR is our favorite!

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