Underwhelmed by 1st Welcome Home stay - still glad I did it.

MegMoves

From Planning to Owning in one Pandemic
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
I'm not sure if our villa just wasn't well-prepared, or well-cleaned, but it was like they weren't expecting us to stay in that room.

I asked housekeeping the morning after arrival for an item that wasn't in the villa - a cookie sheet- it was never brought.

I wound up having to clean black crud from the corner of the bathtub before I took a bath.

And is it normal to not have an information book in a villa? We had one sheet with a map and community hall info, and that's it. No welcome home note, or note from mousekeeping, nothing about any of the restaurants or activities on the boardwalk. Is it normal for the villas not have some of this, like the hotel rooms?

It felt like we were inconveniencing them by arriving. We arrived WELL after check-in.
 

cm8

<font color=blue>Half of the time we're rushing ar
Joined
Nov 20, 2009
I'm not sure if our villa just wasn't well-prepared, or well-cleaned, but it was like they weren't expecting us to stay in that room.

I asked housekeeping the morning after arrival for an item that wasn't in the villa - a cookie sheet- it was never brought.

I wound up having to clean black crud from the corner of the bathtub before I took a bath.

And is it normal to not have an information book in a villa? We had one sheet with a map and community hall info, and that's it. No welcome home note, or note from mousekeeping, nothing about any of the restaurants or activities on the boardwalk. Is it normal for the villas not have some of this, like the hotel rooms?

It felt like we were inconveniencing them by arriving. We arrived WELL after check-in.
Wow!
Usually, they would include a letter panel from management welcoming you and thanking you for staying. Housekeeping has always been an issue way before covid. Here’s to hoping your next experience will be much better!
 

MegMoves

From Planning to Owning in one Pandemic
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
I'm still glad we bought in and stayed at the Boardwalk. It was just... not that magical upon arrival.
 

DeeBee3

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
I can't remember anything special about our first trip as DVC, but you would def get a letter from management. I never checked for a cookie sheet or any other type of cookware. We weren't happy about our room though, and they did find us a different room that we much preferred.
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
And is it normal to not have an information book in a villa? We had one sheet with a map and community hall info, and that's it. No welcome home note, or note from mousekeeping, nothing about any of the restaurants or activities on the boardwalk. Is it normal for the villas not have some of this, like the hotel rooms?
Huh, now I that I think about it, I don't think any of this stuff was at Poly/BC on our recent trip. I actually would have looked at the Poly room service menu. I swear BC had some kind of triangle shaped sign with QR code I didn't use?

I've never had any issues with cleanliness or upkeep, and I've visited several times post-Covid. It's surprising to me they didn't try to fix these issues. I've found DVC responsive to stuff like this. There's things they can't fix as easily (like IT, ugh) and just staffing (like waits for Bell Services).

As for feeling like you are "inconveniencing" them, DVC service has never rolled out a red carpet for OMG owners. If you're expecting "deluxe" service, you're going to be disappointed. I had multiple hotel chain status before Covid, and I have learned to temper my expectations with DVC. It's a leanly staffed hotel that does an adequate job. I've heard some magical stories, but I've never experienced it. With more reasonable expectations, I had no issues at all with my most recent trip.
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Its hit or miss - and mostly miss - in my experience to get the materials regarding stays in DVC. I've NEVER gotten a note from housekeeping or management. And I hate to say it, we've almost always had "clean enough" rooms - but my standard for clean enough isn't as high as others - there is often things like broken drawers - once a towel rack that was hanging by one support, once a curtain with a three inch rip through it, and once furniture that had a block of wood where the leg should have been keeping it level - and I have had black crud in shower corners. I think the grossest was the stove where pancake mix had been dripped into the vents between the panes of oven glass.....that room also had a refrigerator - that was clean - but did look like something I would expect in college campus high turnover apartments where you expect twenty year old guys who smoke too much weed were the previous tenants.

Its expectations. The rooms often get turned over quickly, the maintenance is paid for by dues, rooms at the end of the refresh cycle can be downright shabby as any replacement goods have already been used up and there are no more tables with all four legs.

In all our DVC stays over 20 years now, we've NEVER gotten towel animals or anything that I would associate with "Disney Magic" for the stay. Other people have had better luck.
 

nerdboyrockstar

here to change the world.
Joined
May 1, 2005
Only been a member for 2 years now but it seems by my experience so far that we should be expecting less than a regular hotel guest, not more.

Nervous about taking my whole family next month for the first time and hoping they don't think service is crap.
 

Dawg74

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
This is making me a little nervous for my first stay in January. I think we will like it but I hope the room is reasonably clean.
 

eandt

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
This is making me a little nervous for my first stay in January. I think we will like it but I hope the room is reasonably clean.
Im sure it will be fine, and if it's not don't be afraid to bring it to the attention of management. We were just there in early Nov (AKL/BWV/BCV) and all of our 1br's were clean and in order.

We did have an issue on a previous stay at Polynesian with some food left behind in the fridge, the carpet needing swept better and some debris left behind the couch but we made a phone call and it was corrected immediately. Another time also at the Polynesian we had brown water coming out of one of the bathroom sinks, again we called the desk and they moved us to a studio with a lake view where we could watch MK fireworks from our balcony.
 

Dizzydizney

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
With housekeeping issues, never approach the housekeepers....call housekeeping on the room phone or stop at the front desk. I will ask the housekeeper if I see one in the hallway for toilet paper or dishwasher soap or something like that. But if something is not up to standards cleanliness wise....better off calling or front desk. I’ve only had cleanliness issues twice in over 20 years and they were taken care of right away.

Leaflets and the like have not been left in the table in many years in their quest to be environmentally friendly. Same with pads and pens...although I am sure that was a cost factor resort-wide.

Have not seen a welcome home letter from the resort manager since the reopening.

I’ve noticed an increased stress level amongst cast members....more so now than when they first reopened. I know they are short handed all the way around. Constantly changing protocols and the craziness leading up to the 50th didn’t help.

We’ve been members for over 20 years. DVC was a small, intimate club then. It has grown and changed over the years....and all the nice little things we used to receive as members is practically non-existent. However, we do always receive what we paid for.

Sorry your visit was less magical than you expected. Hope your next one will be better.
 

Sammie

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 1999
All the info you need is online, on your phone or on the TV so no need now for printed materials. As to needing an item, call housekeeping, same for having something cleaned.
 

purpliequeen

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Sorry for your first stay not being magical. Some trips are better than others, that's for sure. Some DVC resorts are more preferable than others - hopefully your next home resort stay will be better. Or your next DVC resort stay - there are so many to try! The brand new / renovated resorts are absolutely a dream to stay in - give them a try!

While I agree with you that it's disappointing: The removal of collateral (paper, brochures, etc.) in the room has been with COVID, I believe. As I remember folders with extensive resort programming and info (restaurant hours, etc.) up to February 2020. (Heck, I still have some of the info from back then.) That being said, I feel like COVID has affected ALL hotel rooms, not just DVC rooms. I travel for work - and work for a hotel mgmt co/ownership group. We've removed collateral in hotel rooms, along with any other thing that was considered "high touch points." This is similar to resturants removing paper menus and replacing with QR cards (altho menus are still usualy available upon request). I personally don't mind it, as I can find the info on the TV or the info is provided in the lobby/upon check-in, but it does seem to add to the cheapening of the resort experience for resorts like those in WDW. Please note that this isn't a DVC vs. deluxe resort thing - collateral in deluxe resorts have been reduced/removed as well.
 

purpliequeen

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Only been a member for 2 years now but it seems by my experience so far that we should be expecting less than a regular hotel guest, not more.

Nervous about taking my whole family next month for the first time and hoping they don't think service is crap.
Don't be nervous - just reset expectations. DVC resorts are not five-star resorts like Four Seasons, St. Regis, etc. They are instead full-service hotels that are more residential and intended for you to be able to enjoy your family/personal time with little to no disruption. I actually prefer this. That being said, you willl see many employees at the resort and they are all friendly & helpful. If you need something/your villa is not up to snuff, call mouskeeping or guest services on the phone (don't approach a mousekeeper in the hallway) and Disney will do their best to right the situation. In my family's 17 years as DVC members, we've loved our resorts & most of the time, when we bring friends & family outside of the DVC fold, they are very impressed (and want to join/buy-in!). Hopefully this will be the case for you.

As I mentioned to the OP, some resorts are a little more worn than others (the new ones like Riviera or fully renovated ones like SSR). However, this is not unlike any hotel/resort. Disney is very good with their maintenance - especially considering how much wear & tear their rooms receive. Just want to realign expectations. And lastly, all of us in the hospitality industry have been slammed during COVID. Massive furloughs/lay-offs at the start and now bringing back employees with much more expectations asked of them is taking a toll on our industry. Pack your patience and know that it's not just DVC/Disney, it's industry-wide.

Surprisingly, more service has been added over the years - specifically after the Vegas shooting..... Trash/towels used to be on your 3rd or 4th day of your stay. Now, because of safety precautions, trash service is daily. The room checks are not solely to DVC rooms - this is resort-wide and for our safety.
 

nerdboyrockstar

here to change the world.
Joined
May 1, 2005
Don't be nervous - just reset expectations. DVC resorts are not five-star resorts like Four Seasons, St. Regis, etc. They are instead full-service hotels that are more residential and intended for you to be able to enjoy your family/personal time with little to no disruption. I actually prefer this. That being said, you willl see many employees at the resort and they are all friendly & helpful. If you need something/your villa is not up to snuff, call mouskeeping or guest services on the phone (don't approach a mousekeeper in the hallway) and Disney will do their best to right the situation. In my family's 17 years as DVC members, we've loved our resorts & most of the time, when we bring friends & family outside of the DVC fold, they are very impressed (and want to join/buy-in!). Hopefully this will be the case for you.

As I mentioned to the OP, some resorts are a little more worn than others (the new ones like Riviera or fully renovated ones like SSR). However, this is not unlike any hotel/resort. Disney is very good with their maintenance - especially considering how much wear & tear their rooms receive. Just want to realign expectations. And lastly, all of us in the hospitality industry have been slammed during COVID. Massive furloughs/lay-offs at the start and now bringing back employees with much more expectations asked of them is taking a toll on our industry. Pack your patience and know that it's not just DVC/Disney, it's industry-wide.

Surprisingly, more service has been added over the years - specifically after the Vegas shooting..... Trash/towels used to be on your 3rd or 4th day of your stay. Now, because of safety precautions, trash service is daily. The room checks are not solely to DVC rooms - this is resort-wide and for our safety.
Absolutely. Thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully & thoroughly.

I meant more along the lines of having to explain no housekeeping in the event my family decided we needed it (and that I couldn't even pay for it if I wanted). Towels I believe are now no issue on request. I then worried about the extra charges for it and would rather have swept that under the rug without them knowing. 😂

Twice I've not gotten my DVC room until hours after check-in time (was compensated each time but still inconvenienced). Would hate them to experience anything like that. The housekeepers knocking on check-out day can be aggressive as early as 8am. "When are you leaving?" is not a magical question at anytime, but especially not that early.

I don't mind giving them a peek behind the curtain later should they express interest (first time bringing them to a DVC with me and first time going to Disney as a family in YEARS). It's my favorite place. I just hope to make a good impression. :earsboy:
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Twice I've not gotten my DVC room until hours after check-in time (was compensated each time but still inconvenienced). Would hate them to experience anything like that. The housekeepers knocking on check-out day can be aggressive as early as 8am. "When are you leaving?" is not a magical question at anytime, but especially not that early.
I experience one of the other of these issues on every trip. This is a major difference, especially compared to actual deluxe properties. You need to set expectations about these things, sadly.
 

ctl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 3, 2012
I'm so sorry that happened to you. Not having a clean bathtub is revolting. There is absolutely NO excuse for that. We all need to complain if we get a dirty room. It is not acceptable to have an unclean room when you arrive. If we keep letting them think this level of service will be acceptable then it will just get worse.
 

nerdboyrockstar

here to change the world.
Joined
May 1, 2005
I experience one of the other of these issues on every trip. This is a major difference, especially compared to actual deluxe properties. You need to set expectations about these things, sadly.
I will sit them down and have the talk... eventually. 😂
 

eandt

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
I'm so sorry that happened to you. Not having a clean bathtub is revolting. There is absolutely NO excuse for that. We all need to complain if we get a dirty room. It is not acceptable to have an unclean room when you arrive. If we keep letting them think this level of service will be acceptable then it will just get worse.
Agree I have stayed in every category of properties not only at Disney but thtoughout our travels elsewhere and I refuse to adjust my expectations especially on cleanliness. I don't care if I stay at the Motel 6 or the 4 Seasons I expect to get a thoroughly cleaned and refreshed room, anything less is unacceptable and I let management know about it every single time.
 

Skywalker3

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Our first DVC stay, SSR in 2011, was underwhelming too. Nothing special at checkin related to our first stay, etc. We did buy resale, so just figured it was that. Then they completely double charged us for our dining plan, and charged for the stay, even tho we were on points. It was not the best first trip, but wow, we've had SO, SO, SO many awesome trips after that, it's but a memory. You'll have many more fabulous DVC stays to come!
 

TexasAggie73

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Never seen a cookie sheet in any timeshare that I have stayed in and I’ve stayed in many. The best thing is to rent a owners locker and keep things like that and much more in them.
 

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