Life is a Beach…Exploring Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Carl and I were to be celebrating our Wedding Anniversary a couple of Septembers ago, and we wanted to stay somewhere romantic with grounds that we could walk at night, hand in hand. Since we had already stayed at “Dixie Landings” we decided to try “Caribbean Beach Resort” instead. After booking a package with free dining, we were able to justify the cost and we were on our way to the Tropics. So grab your favorite fruity drink, umbrella included, and soak up the virtual sun on this snowy of days…enjoy your visit with us to the Caribbean.
Hubby and I checked in early, which I can tell you that the Resort itself is nice and easy to find. It is on a Main Road on the Disney Property and clearly marked, with stop lights to use as you enter and exit the property. This is great to have because it can be a bit scary sometimes driving Disney property when you don’t know the area, having lights right in front of the Resort helps with all of those pesky left turns we all have to make. It’s nice to know you have some help versus trying to beat a Disney bus to the entrance.
The Lobby and Check-in building will be on your LEFT as you enter the grounds. Take a left after you have passed that building, and there is plenty of parking to sit your car. I assume this is also where Magical Express and other transportations will take you, as it is where you need to check-in. It was a bit strange at first to be checking in so far away from the actual rooms- we were used to the All-Stars where you checked in near the same place you could shop, eat, and jump in the pool 10 feet away. The pro to the building being on its own is that it was very quiet and peaceful and you didn’t see anyone in swim suits running through the lobby. LOL We checked in around 8 a.m. and we were able to walk right up to the counter. Everything went smooth, and they confirmed our free dining and which reservations we had made. I loved that they walked us through how to get around the grounds, this Resort is quite big, and explained where everything was. We got our room key, a package that contains their newsletter called “Tradewinds,” hopped in the rental car, and headed to “Aruba” which seemed to be one of the closest buildings to the check-in area.
Parking was easy and convenient. Each section has its own parking area, so you will never walk that far to get to your car, which is great if you rented or brought your own car. I realize most people fly in and use Disney Transportation, which Caribbean has several bus stops scattered around the Resort so you won’t be walking too far to get too these as well.
We had a second floor room on the corner, which we absolutely loved because we had 2 large windows that the sunlight would cascade into- just awesome. We opened the door and we were taken back by how fun and beautiful the room was itself. The colors made you want to dance and we loved the double sink area. The fresh feel of it was relaxing and inviting, and perfect for a romantic trip such as ours. We were only able to book a room with 2 double beds, a King would have been nice, but we enjoyed using the other bed to lay out our clothes and goodies we would buy during the trip.
Our first evening there we took a romantic stroll on the grounds, heading to the main area called “Old Port Royale Centertown.” We were across from all of the action, so even though it was quite the walk, we loved the privacy our building provided. We noticed each section has its own “quiet pool” along with the Main Pool that is located near “Old Port Royale.” Now, in 2008, the pool had just started its refurbishment, and we would be fortunate to see it come to fruition the following year. We loved hanging out in “Old Port Royale” as it was its own Mini-Mall of the Tropics. We headed to the gift shop called “Calypso Trading Post” and oogled all of the wonderful Disney items. Because it was our first stay here, we had to find something to bring home that would remind us of our time there. We chose a drinking glass that had the CBR Resort logo on it, and also a Disney Trading Pin of the Resort. Here we would start the tradition of buying Entemanns glazed donut holes for breakfast- then and future trips as well. We never really bought them at home, and for some reason they both hit our stomachs at the same time as a good thing, so we would wind up investing in them during our entire stay! LOL Along with donuts, you can purchase small items like milk and soda, along with candies and such.
After our fun time shopping, and meeting a Cast Member who lived in WI, we headed into the Food Court area for something small to eat. Great variety here and plenty of seating, indoors and out. If you want a sit down Restaurant, they have “Shutters” which we didn’t partake in, so I can’t tell you anything but that it’s there.
We enjoyed the beds, and had no problem sleeping on them. We had a ceiling fan above us, which was nice to circulate the air-conditioned air. The room was provided with a mini-fridge, and a nice area for us to sit down and eat. We filled our fridge with bottled water, soda, and leftovers from meals we would have the nights before. Being on the dining plan, sometimes we would have more food than we could handle- especially the dessert portion. So instead of not taking it, we would order it and take it back to our room and throw it in the fridge for later. It only worked if we were headed back to the room anyways, but it was a great treat for those last night munchies.
One of my favorite things about the Resort was the location- very close to Epcot. One night we were in our pajamas, enjoying an early night in as the parks can exhaust you sometimes, and we heard Illuminations start up. We headed out to the balcony area of our section, and while it started to mist a touch of rain, we watched the fireworks go off. It was a sweet moment and quite the romantic one.
We loved our stay so much that we would return in 2009 with our girls. We booked the newly renovated “Pirate” rooms located in the Trinidad Section. Now, this section is the furthest one on their grounds, but that can come with perks. We never had any noise problems, it was always very quiet, peaceful, and relaxing.
We enjoyed the quiet pool several times, only ever swimming with maybe 6 other people at a time, alone with the Main Pool as well. It was also renovated now, and it was BEAUTIFUL! We made time for that pool, planning a half day for it- (you almost have to with how many people come to it!) We got up early for it, getting to the pool around 9 a.m. We were able to snag a beach chair, and enjoy the pool without a lot of people in it yet. It is nice that you can walk into this pool, as we found it relaxing to sit in the shallow area while soaking up the suns rays. We took Jessie to the kids pool area, which had fun slides and waterfalls- she had a blast enjoying it all.
The walk from Trinidad to Old Port Royale area is a LONG one, there is just no way of getting around it unless you have your own vehicle. I can tell you that on those nights we were pooped, and I felt my feet were going to fall off, we would drive to the Food Court area and hop out, refill our mugs, and drive back. We also drove to the Main Pool, making sure to have dry towels on the seats for when we got back in. The walk is wonderful and peaceful if you are up for it, but not so much when your feet are screaming at you, so keep that in mind when booking that section.
The Pirate room itself was AMAZING!!! The beds have masts like the heads of ships, and the floor looked like planks with jewels scattered on them. The table in the room had a large compass on it, and the skull and bones you see in the Pirate movies donned the privacy curtain near the bathroom area. The lights above the sink were made to look like large old candles, and the mini-fridge area was disguised as large barrels. We had a flat screen television, and again we got a 2nd floor room on the corner so we had plenty of sunshine in the morning.
Are the Pirate rooms worth it? I say, “Arr” (YES)! If you have anyone in your party who LOVES Pirates, this is the room for them. As adults, Hubby and I found it entertaining and enjoyed how much our girls LOVED it. We also loved the convenience of parking our van every day, and walking 10 feet to get to our Resort room door- no elevators, no fighting crowds in the lobby, just out of the van and into our room. Believe me, after a day in the Parks and you have been fighting crowds all day in the hot sun, nothing is nicer than having a short walk to your air-conditioned waiting room. To see a map of the grounds click HERE… wdwinfo.com has great Resort maps for every stay!
The grounds are beautiful- we enjoyed an evening of hanging out in the hammocks and playing on the playground area. You will see a lot of wildlife at this Resort- many birds- especially ducks. I implore you to leave them alone- they don’t seem to care that people are there and they WILL let you know if you are upsetting them. One night Carl and I went to get Margaritas while Belle watched Jessie for a bit. We walked to the bar area, and on the way, there had to be 20 ducks if not more on the sidewalk. We had to walk around them, because they refused to move. So as we walked back with our drinks, the ducks were still there. We watched an older kid try to run at them, smart right? Well, they ran at him and he took off running. It was funny to watch, and a nice warning.
We loved this Resort, and we hope to stay there on a weekend after we have moved to Florida. I encourage everyone to try it at least once, and I would happy to answer any other questions you may have about our stays. Before ending this, I have to say writing on this subject was wonderful for my sanity… I am looking out my window right now at snow everywhere and it was nice to think about the Islands for awhile. To further escape the snow, check out our video of the Trinidad section. Enjoy!