We are big fans of Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort, having stayed twice before. I’ve talked about my Caribbean Beach resort tips when staying, and also what I love about the resort in the past. When we booked our 2017 holiday last September, we toyed with booking a different resort, but decided that we loved Caribbean Beach Resort so much we would stay again.
Early this year we heard about the planned refurbishment that was going to affect us during our stay in August this year. Starting in May 2017, Caribbean Beach Resort would be undergoing a two-year refurbishment plan that would see a new dining area and check in centre, as well as a new DVC resort being added. But how would this affect us during our stay? Should we even stay at Caribbean Beach resort during the refurbishment?
There was a lot of internet discussion around the refurbishment, and I was in two minds whether we would stay as the horror stories unfolded of the loss of food facilities and demolition of resort areas. We decided we would continue with our stay and adapt the way we used the resort as part of our holiday. In the past we have enjoyed evenings by the pool bar watching the outdoor movie. This year with the loss of Old Port Royale, the restaurant area that we had known in the past, we re-evaluated and decided we would use the resort as a base and eat off site a lot more. We actually took full use of the Dining Plan and enjoyed meals at Hollywood and Vine, Be Our Guest, Crystal Palace, Ohana to name a few.
As we arrived at the resort, we realised a lot had changed. The whole of the Barbados section and half of the Martinique section had already been demolished, and there was a lot of screening around to hide the work happening behind.
What About The View?
You could see a lot of the construction vehicles and the ground being worked on across the lake, and not all the walls were very high, so seeing over them, especially from the second floor balcony was quite open to view. It didn’t make the view very pretty at all to be fair, but we soon got used to ignoring what was going on around us.
On our first morning when jet lag has us awake as silly o clock in the morning, I as wondering if the construction noise would bother us. From our room which was in Martinique, right next to the edge of the construction site starting, we didn’t hear anything that morning, yet we were bothered by the gardeners using their ladders to climb the trees at 6am.
During our stay, we spent a lot of time in the Martinique village pool, and the construction noise wasn’t a problem at all. We soon got used to not even hearing it if that makes sense. The fake screen walls made to look like hedges were a little strange however.
Getting Around The Resort
Getting to the main temporary food court area located near Old Port Royale that was, was the biggest headache for us. You used to be able to take a short walk around the lake to get to the main pool and the food court, however the lake is all fenced off at the edge of Martinique now, so we had to weave through the buildings and follow the signs to the temporary walkway which took us behind the back of the Old Port Royale building, which was currently still standing in August 2017.
I used to really enjoy walking around the resort, but it was done as needed on this trip as it was a faff. We ended up only visiting the main food tent once during our stay as it was easier to visit the island market rooms located in each village to get a snack for breakfast if we needed it before heading out for the day.
As the facilities were limited in the food tent, which was now serving buffet style meals, each village had a drinks machine in the ice vending room to be able to fill the drinks mugs with. We found this to be very handy, and without this I think we would have been a lot more upset at having to navigate the path to the main food tent every time we wanted a drink.
Each village also has two hotel rooms that have been changed into a small island market. It has coffee, tea, snack items and a limited selection of quick service sandwiches etc. This was a nice touch, but we did find the choice very limited and the options not always very fresh which was a shame. We really did have to think about what we were going to have for lunch if we were due to go back to the resort for a rest.
The Caribbean Beach resort bus route seems to run OK comparing the service to our last visits. As we stayed in Martinique we were the first collection and drop off which was very handy. Jamaica and Aruba were the last two stops and on busy mornings, and evenings we did witness the bus driving past Jamaica as the bus was already full. I would have found this very frustrating if I was staying in one of those villages, so I was very happy with our choice of Martinique.
Would We Stay Again?
We still love Caribbean Beach resort, and I think yes we would stay again. We have visited some of the other resorts and we always find ourselves comparing them to Caribbean Beach Resort. I would like to see the resort when it is finished, but I can honestly say that the construction wasn’t an issue for us in the grand scheme of things. We had to readjust our days, but if you go knowing the facts and keep your eye on what may be happening during the time of your stay, then I think you’ll be absolutely fine.