Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

March 31, 2011 by DisGuruMom

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

We have spent two memorable vacations at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World Resort. Our first was our honeymoon in 1994 and more recently in September of 2008 as a family of five. As honeymooners CBR offered a good value for the money, and we loved the tropical beach theme. We enjoyed a corner room on the second floor in the Trinidad North section which was very convenient to Old Port Royale which houses the main pool, shops, arcade, food court, and full-service restaurant (now Shutters). Since that time, rooms in the sections of North Trinidad and Martinique have been designated as preferred rooms meaning you will pay $25-$30 more per night for that convenience. When we returned in 2008, I decided not to spring for the preferred room. I requested a room in Aruba or Jamaica after reading that many of those rooms are just a short walk from Old Port Royale across the bridge that crosses Barefoot Bay, the lake that is central to the resort. My mistake. Some of those rooms would be fairly convenient. However, we ended up in a room at the far side of the Jamaica section. My theory has always been “what’s a little walking in the resort when we walk miles all day in the parks anyway?” Having never experienced such an inconveniently located room, I hadn’t figured in the hassle to refill mugs at the food court or the long return walk to the room to retrieve a forgotten item when at the themed pool. I’m still not sure I would be willing to pay extra for a preferred room, but I would request a room in a particular building or “close to the bridge” next time.

When we were there in 2008, the main themed pool had just reopened days earlier. It has a Spanish fort theme which was updated and enhanced with a pirate ship themed children’s area as well as having the main pool enlarged. Both are very well done and deserve to be worked into your schedule during any stay at the resort.

Also in the works at that time was a rethemeing of the guest rooms. We did not get one of the newly refurbished rooms at the time, but we enjoyed our colorful, tropical room all the same. CBR boasts the largest guest rooms of Disney’s moderate resorts (excluding the cabins at Fort Wilderness) with 340 square feet. All rooms have 2 double beds or 1 king plus a bathroom with double sinks and a privacy curtain to create a dressing area. A small refrigerator, table, and two chairs are included as well as sufficient storage for clothes. CBR allows only 4 persons per room with one additional under the age of 3 in a crib. When we travelled as a party of 5, our youngest was 2 years old and slept in a pack-n-play set up in the room. We had a sufficient amount of space, particularly considering that we do not spend a lot of time in our room at WDW. The new design of the rooms now offers a choice for guests. There are Nemo themed rooms throughout most of the resort as well as pirate themed rooms, which are located only in the Trinidad South section of the resort. The pirate rooms will cost you an extra $30-$40 per night depending on the season and are the farthest from all the central amenities. However, the inconvenience and extra expense just might be worth it if you have a pirate fan in your crew.

There is plenty to see and do around this resort. The Market Street food court is open 6am to midnight offering nice sized meals as well as a la carte “grab and go” items. Shutters is a full service restaurant serving dinner only. The Goombay Games arcade and Calypso Trading Post and Straw Market shops are also located in Old Port Royale (also known as Centertown). There is a beach at each “village” of the resort with lounge chairs and hammocks, although swimming is not allowed in the lake. There are six “quiet” pools in addition to the pirate themed main pool with adjacent whirlpool and kiddie pool/play area. Three playgrounds are scattered around the resort too. Bikes and boats of various descriptions are available to rent at Barefoot Bay Marina, as well as volleyballs which can be used at the nearby sand court.

Buses run directly to the Disney theme parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney. Being such a large resort, CBR has 7 bus stops near the guest room buildings plus one at Custom House where the front desk and concierge service is located.

Caribbean Beach Resort is a beautiful and well-themed resort. The brightly colored rooms are cheerful and large (for a Disney moderate resort). The Caribbean style music and lush landscaping transport you to a slower-paced lifestyle away from the hustle and long lines of the parks. As a family of five, I doubt we will be staying here again anytime soon, as it would require two rooms. However, I would recommend it for parties of four or less.

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