One day I hope to have written a review for every single resort at Walt Disney World. Each one has their own charm and theme, and I can’t wait to try them all. For our recent trip to Disney World, we decided to try out the Caribbean Beach Resort. Without further ado, here’s what we thought…
Theme – 3.5 out of 5 points
The theme of Caribbean Beach is… drum roll, please… the Caribbean! Each building is named after a different Caribbean island (Aruba, Jamaica, Trinidad South, Trinidad North, Martinique, etc.). In general, they’ve done a good job incorporating the theme into the buildings and common areas. It definitely feels very similar to Coronado Springs Resort, too, though. All in all, it’s a fun theme.
Ambiance – 3.5 out of 5 points
There is a great big lake in the middle of the resort, and a small island (with a play area) that’s in the middle, too. It’s got a really nice ambiance to it in terms of landscaping, but the buildings themselves are a little “bright”. Lots of pastel colors that kind of drown out some of the nicer parts of the trees and foliage.
I’ll also say that this resort has a good number of kids, so if you’re an adult couple without kids (and looking to avoid them while at the resort) then Coronado Springs is going to be a better selection.
Another thing I found kind of weird was the layout. Most of it, around the lake, makes sense, but there is one set of buildings (Trinidad South) that is basically across the street. Not sure how that came to be design-wise.
Lobby & Check-in – 3 out of 5 points
The place where you check in, also known as the Custom House was nicely themed but not over done. And it was also kind of across the street and basically only accessible (easily) via the internal bus system.
Rooms -4 out of 5 points
This score would be significantly lower if this was a review from my stay in 2000 with my family where everything was a hot pastel color inside the rooms. They’ve really toned the inside of the rooms down and they’re significantly more rustic and authentic feeling now. We were sad, though, that our mouse keeper (house keeper) did not leave us towel animals for any days during our stay. That being said, the rooms were nice and cozy.
Food Options – 4 out of 5 points
The food options here consist mainly of a decent-sized food court and a table service restaurant, Shutters. We dined at the food court most of our mornings and it definitely got the job done well. Lots of individual stands to order from and with lots of options from each.
The table service restaurant, Shutters, is where we ate on our first night. We did not have reservations but there was still no wait (which kind of surprised me). The service was friendly, the views of the lake were nice, and the food was delicious, too! I had the braised beef short ribs which I’d highly recommend and Leslie had the Seared Mahi Mahi which she also thoroughly enjoyed.
There is also a bar area outside by the pool which we didn’t try, but I suspect it’s a great option for parents (or at least, one parent) to wind down after a long day at the parks. All in all, robust food options here at Caribbean Beach and tasty food.
Transportation – 3.5 out of 5 points
I think this is highly subjective to which area on property you’re staying, so I’ll preface this by stating that we were in Martinique. This resort has a lot of bus stops and so your trips to and from the parks will suffer from a bit of lag. That being said, during our stay I don’t think we ever had to wait for a 2nd bus (to the location we were heading to) in the morning or afternoon but I think this is because Martinique is one of the first stops.
Heading home we usually got on the first bus that showed up, too, but we had to wait a while to get to Martinique which was one of the last stops. All in all, I’d rather be in Martinique (where buses pick you up first but drop you off last) than some of the other areas (Trinidad South) where the buses were often full when they arrived here.
During our trip, Disney still has not put up “bus info boards” or added it as a feature to My Disney Experience yet, so when and where a bus is remains a complete mystery while at the stops, unfortunately.
Pool & Grounds – 4.5 out of 5 points
The grounds themselves really are quite scenic, especially with the beautiful lake in the middle and a path that goes all around. Each building area has their own “normal pool”, but the best pool is by far the one at Old Port Royale (where the food options are). Themed like an old fort from the good old pirate days, it’s really quite unique and nicely themed. Complete with water slide and multiple hot tubs, this is a great place for kids to play and still a fun place for adults to wind down. Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs probably compete for best moderate resort pool.
Extra Credit – 3 out of 5 points
These things don’t deserve their own paragraph (usually) but could still be point-worthy tidbits. Each item is worth -1 to 1 points, which means places can actually lose points here!
- Price: I think this resort is a great deal for the price. (+ 1 point)
- Resort staff: I forgot to pick up a package I shipped to the resort at check-in, so they brought it to our room (which is a trek) but other than that, nothing special. (+ 0 points)
- On-site entertainment: Between the pool, restaurants, the trail, the little island in the middle of the lake, the hammocks, the beaches, and more… there is a ton to do here! (+ 1 point)
- Extra mile: Sadly, nothing stands out as the extra mile. (+ 0 points)
- Would return on future visit: Plenty more resorts to try, but would definitely stay here again. (+1 point)
Without a doubt, Caribbean Beach is a great value. In my opinion you get a fun theme, beautiful resort area, good food options, and a reasonable price. It’s drawbacks are how sprawled out it is, how long you may be waiting for a bus, and the somewhat odd pastel colors of all the buildings. All in all, if you’re looking for something fun at a great price, definitely consider Caribbean Beach!
Caribbean Beach Resort Total Score:
29 out of 40 points
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January 7, 2016 at 3:44 pm
Can’t say that I agree with everything you said, but like you said, it is YOUR opinion. We felt the resort looked run down. The staff rarely said hi or smiled. We had to call for the dirty towels from the previous guests to be taken away and replaced with clean and to empty the fridge of old food. Hours were wasted waiting for the bus. Remember, you have to go on the internal bus to get to the food and then take the bus back to your resort. (I believe we were in Aruba) Food was good and nice size portions, but nothing really stood out. The island was closed while we were there, so we didn’t get to check it out. Were told not to go by the water at night because of the alligators (by staff, by the way!) The pool areas we nice, along with the outside bar. For us it was a disappointment, and we ended up switching to the Polynesian half way through.
January 7, 2016 at 3:48 pm
Thanks for reading and commenting!! I am so sorry to hear you had a significantly worse stay here than we did!! The internal bus is definitely optional depending solely on where you stay (or if you like walking). I love walking, so we avoided the internal bus. But, if you had to rely on it, that would definitely put a damper on things.
Thinking back, I would share your view on the cast members– not nearly as chipper as Disney cast members usually are. That is a bummer the island was closed, it was cool even though I only saw it at night.
Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment. 🙂