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Trip Report May 2017 Caribbean Beach Resort/ Flower & Garden Trip **COMPLETED**

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Reports' started by myhappyplace, May 6, 2017.

  1. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member

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    We're back already!! :( As always, it went far too fast!

    A little intro: We are myhappyplace (Amber) and Mrhappyplace (David). This was our 4th trip to the World as married folks (I've gone over 10 times prior to meeting DH, and he went on one day trips several times as a child).

    (from our last trip)
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    Our Pre-Trip thread for this vacation can be found here: http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/...-pin-code-spring-caribbean-beach-trip.921077/ . Also, if you care to, searching will bring up past trip reports: our Disneymoon/WL trip, our Boardwalk/ F &W trip, and our Christmastime BLT trip.


    On to this trip!


    When: Saturday, April 29th- Saturday May 6th
    (Even through 2 of our days were technically in April, I still referred to this as our 'May trip')

    Where: Caribbean Beach Resort (our first moderate!)
    Previous to meeting DH, I had only stayed in Value resorts. For our Disneymoon, we splurged (with the help of wedding gift money) and stayed at a Deluxe....well, and got spoiled. Now having stayed at 3 Deluxes, we weren't sure how our stay at a Moderate would go. I was fairly sure that as long as I had a shower and a bed and was at Disney, I was good. DH's main concern was transportation, as we really enjoy those resorts that have choices (boat & bus, monorail & walking, etc). Would we like CBR???

    Why: sort of silly, because...why not?? Truthfully, we were going to take a bit of a break after our December trip, but we ended up getting a pin code in the mail, and after price checking, found we could swing a trip to enjoy Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival- a time of year we hadn't ever visited. Booking THIS trip then made us realize that we should upgrade to an Annual Pass in December, which THEN made us book a September and probably December trip to get the most use of the AP. So, thank you pin code!

    Here we go!
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  2. littleroo

    littleroo Well-Known Member

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    Following! Excited to hear your thoughts. We will be there in a few short weeks.
     
  3. Tuvalu

    Tuvalu Premium Member

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    Awww darn we didn't meet again!
     
  4. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member

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    Following along!
     
  5. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thank you!! That's the exciting time, so close!

    I know! :( PLEASE tell me you'll be there either from Sept 7-10, or Dec 9-12, and we can try again!!

    Yay, glad to have you along!!
     
  6. Mrhappyplace

    Mrhappyplace Well-Known Member

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    While we do tend to splurge on our vacations we are fairly frugal in our daily lives and mostly pay for our stays via monies made on ebay selling off my comic book collection and a few other items we can make a little bit of profit on, I'd estimate we have earned enough on ebay to pay 75% or more of our last 3 vacations and I expect to pay off the next 2 the same way. 2018 we will be taking a break from WDW but are planning a DCL trip for late in the year.

    I also feel it should be mentioned that we choose CBR for the great price (which got even greater as the trip got closer and better still during it) planning on splurging on dinning instead of the resort. We originally were really wanting to stay at Yacht or Beach but with the pin code they were twice the price. Those resorts were what we considered the best option mostly for the convenience of being able to walk to Epcot during the flower and garden festival.
     
  7. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Saturday, April 29th - Travel Day/ Arrival & Disney Springs

    We left the north Atlanta area at around 2am after getting what sleep we could after work on Friday. We stopped at Walmart near our house to get DH an extra pair of shoes with memory foam inside, and a couple other little things. Back on the road, DH drove until we stopped for breakfast at a Denny's. Drove a little more until we needed gas...at this point DH must've been tired, because then I took over driving, and he didn't realize until later when I told him, that he had only put 3/4 of a tank of gas in the car. I drove until we got past the Fla/GA line, watching a beautiful sunset, while DH was zonked out in the backseat. We were on our way to Disney!!

    DH took back over when we filled up again, and drove the rest of the way. Soon enough, we saw this (which isn't my best effort, but it has to be done.)
    [​IMG]

    We weren't quite sure what the procedure was for checking in. The front of the Custom House was quite busy, but we pulled up under the lobby, and ended up sitting there for several minutes, until I got out and went to start taking luggage out of the trunk. A CM asked if we had a room yet, and I said we hadn't received it yet. He had us park, and go inside for our room assignment. DH went to park, and I headed in....somewhat worried, because what if our room wasn't ready yet? Could we not store our luggage and head to swim or something? I was worried it was already a big difference over our experience at a deluxe, where the CMs seem to trip over each other trying to help with luggage.
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    So, skeptically, I went in and got in line at Online Check In. I was 2nd in line, but it took awhile. (I would soon find out it was because the CM was amazing, and was really thoroughly explaining everything she could regarding the construction, where things would be moved to, etc). I took a couple pics of the lobby while waiting. I will say while pretty, I didn't quite feel the grandeur of a deluxe, but of course I was only in the building twice the entire trip, so that wasn't a big deal.

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    OK so a little backstory on the pricing of our trip:
    After booking our stay sometime in the fall, Disney announced the major construction/ refurb that would be happening at CBR. When our awesome travel agent contacted us to see if we wanted to be moved, we denied. We don't really eat much in our resort food courts anyway, and it didn't seem like the noise would bother us. Because of that, we were informed by her that we would be receiving a $75 per night discount. Sweet, right? THEN Disney announced that guests staying at CBR, who booked before a certain date (I think March 30th?), would get a gift card with $75 for each night after May 1st. Because of our previous discount, our agent didn't think we would get this, but she also said "you never know"...well...we were SO pleased to find out that not only did we get this gift card, it was for all 7 nights, not just the 5 nights after May 1st! So this trip became so much more affordable because of our pin code + nightly discount + gift card!! On top of that all, we learned that the closure of the food court was pushed back a week and wouldnt really affect us anyway! Disney magic!!

    I told the wonderful CM that while Aruba or Jamaica was our preference, our first priority is room ready quickest. She got on the phone and made a call, and a preferred King corner room in Aruba was ready now!! So by 10:30am, we had our room. SCORE!

    So, after receiving our gift card and a map (place is huge!!) we jumped back in the car, and headed to our home for the week...Aruba 53, room #5364. Pictures of our room-
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    We had heard that corner rooms were desirable because even though the square footage is the same, the two windows made the room seem bigger. It did seem to be true! Corner room or no, we were pleased with the size of the room!
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    Our view:
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    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  8. Mrhappyplace

    Mrhappyplace Well-Known Member

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    The Denny's we stopped at is in the parking lot of Tanger's Outlet in Locust Grove Ga. I've driven past it many times over the past decade and it is unlike other Denny's I've seen in that it looks like a classic 1950's diner. While it is a nicely themed restaurant nothing was especially notable about the food or the service.

    Also the truly spectacular price on our room reinforced our ideas on splurging on our meals though (spoiler) my frugal nature didn't allow me to go as full out as I was tempted to. While overall I was very pleased with the room itself and liked the idea of my car being in fairly close proximity to our room I did have a few things I was disappointed in in regards to it. Namely that it did not have a microwave (though the refrigerator was quite nice with a glass door on it) also lacking was a alarm clock. Neither of these things are deal breakers but without a microwave I was thinking I'd need to cut down on some of the leftovers I planned to bring back after our first dinner. A dinner I had been looking forward to for months and honestly was a large part of what motivated me to want to take advantage of the pin code in the first place.
     
  9. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Day 1, continued
    Like almost every other time he's out, it seems that DH's work just can't get along without calling or emailing him at some point, and today would be no different. He dealt with a couple such calls when we got into our room, while I set about unpacking. Something I like to do right away.

    DH then wanted to rest a bit in the room as we didn't have plans until dinner, so I set out to explore and to get my bearings (did I mention this is a big resort?) Immediately, I was very impressed with the landscaping...beautiful flowers, trees, and pathways everywhere. Even though big, the resort has plenty of signage to point you in the direction you wish to go. I didn't really have anywhere in mind, so I just wandered and enjoyed the surroundings

    [​IMG]

    I found myself at one of the gates to Aruba's quiet pool, and there were only a few people in it. Still, I didn't take an actual picture of the pool since there were people.

    This is not the gate I came in, but the gate that I went out, closest to Aruba's beach.
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    It was very very hot this day, 94 I think it was, so while pretty, I had no desire to go soak up the sun in one of these chairs...
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    I walked along the water toward Caribbean Cay Island.
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    It was very enjoyable being near water, and I liked looking at the fish (and later turtles, you'll see!)
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    The font of this sign reminded me of Gilligan's Island
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    Just beautiful flowers everywhere you looked...
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    Caribbean Cay has little gazebos with gliding rocker benches to enjoy looking out over the water, that are open from sunrise to sunset. Again, too hot to do so today for more than a minute or two, but I did sit down. I should've gone back sometime at sunrise, but who am I kidding?
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    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  10. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Day 1, continued

    Continuing my walk through Caribbean Cay, I walked past a play area for kids, and then a little sandy area with some hammocks. It was shady and I thought that I'd take a little rest in one.

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    [​IMG]

    My enjoyment lasted approximately .000023 seconds, or as soon as I realized that I probably wasn't going to be able to get back out without flipping over. I was by myself in the area, but people were walking on the path nearby pretty regularly.

    [​IMG]

    I tried to play it cool for a minute or two, but the problem was that I didn't get INTO the hammock very well to begin with, so instead of my head being upright, it was basically in the middle, lowest part, so I had no way of even getting my feet on the ground. I finally realized I just needed to go for it, and it wasn't pretty, but I got out.

    I'll just stick to taking photos of pretty flowers...
    [​IMG]

    Soon enough (it really is a pleasant walk), I was at Centertown. (the building that houses the food court/ straw market/ gift shop--at least until last week...this will be demolished? refurbished? during current construction).

    I have a thing with taking pictures of colorful umbrellas...
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    The pool was really busy, so I just grabbed a quick photo, planning to go back later in the week.
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    The gift shop was open (until Monday, that is) so I looked around for a hat. I'd never been to the World during the really hot summer sun, so I needed a hat that I could wear with all of my outfits, and had seen one on the shopping app. They didn't have the one I wanted though.

    After that, I decided to walk back to the room and check on DH. Just as I was leaving Centertown, I saw a family looking down in the water, so I did too, and saw...a turtle! So cute!

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  11. steffib

    steffib Member

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    Enjoying your Trip report and following along all the way from england!
     
    MySmallWorldof4 and littleroo like this.
  12. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Yay! Glad to have you along!
     
    MySmallWorldof4 likes this.
  13. MinnieM123

    MinnieM123 Well-Known Member

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    Enjoying the attractive photos of your resort. I've never been to that one, and that's what I like about people's TRs, because I always learn something new! Following along! :)
     
  14. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Day 1, continued

    I returned to the room, and found DH ready to get up. We still had plenty of time before we needed to head to our dinner, and after I told him about my wanderings, we decided to hit up the quiet pool for a bit, then we would shower and get ready. I don't have pictures from the pool, but we spent about 15-20 minutes just standing in the cool pool water, aahhh.

    We showered, then decided that instead of going to our island's bus stop, that I would show DH where I walked, and catch the bus from the Old Port Royale stop. We are amateur pin traders, and stopped to look at the pins. We tend to collect pins that have some significance to the current trip --where we are staying, any festivals or special times of year we are there, etc. Well, turns out that all Caribbean Beach Resort pins are sold out, property-wide. (we ended up buying one on ebay on the drive home)

    [​IMG]

    Shutters was still open, but would close on Monday the 1st as well.
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    We headed to the bus stop, to head where?
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    Disney Springs!
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    I SO could not get a sense of direction now that everythings redone!
    It's so beautifully done, though I will still probably only ever really go in a couple stores, and eat there. I did find my hat here!
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    Where were we eating? Here?
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    Nope (though I did loooove my meal there a few trips ago!) We were eating here!!
    [​IMG]


     
  15. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thanks so much! I agree, I love seeing pictures of the resorts, too :) We're slowly trying to get to all of them that we can. Glad to have you along!
     
  16. JamieLee18

    JamieLee18 Member

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    Awesome news about the discounts! Can't wait to read more.
     
  17. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    We were beyond thrilled! And thanks!
     
  18. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Day 1, continued- Disney Springs & Morimoto Asia

    I forgot to post this in the last post, but when we were walking toward World of Disney earlier, we passed by a family: the man was pushing a stroller, and a woman was following behind him, and we heard her very clearly say to the man "but the difference is I hate you", and she wasn't playing. Gotta love the Disney attitude some people have!

    DH loooooves Asian foods, so Morimoto Asia was one of his 2 dining requests for this trip. We checked in and were told they would text us when our table was ready. We went out to sit on a bench outside. We entertained ourselves by watching a man who I thought was a dead-ringer for the character Kevin Garvey Sr from the HBO show The Leftovers. Coulda been twins, I swear. Anyway, it only took about 5 minutes until I received our table-ready text.

    We were a little disappointed in our table, only because it was so little! It was a two-top, but so small, and we planned on ordering several dishes. We voiced our concerns to our hostess, not really to be moved, but more to check whether she thought it would work, and she said that it wouldn't be a problem. We were planning on bringing leftovers back to the room for DH to snack on.

    The decor was really interesting, though we wished we would have booked a later meal to see it more at night. Oh well!
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    We liked the "jellyfish" lighting!
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    Our server was Paul, and he was excellent. I let DH handle all of the ordering for this meal. We split everything but the shrimp, as I don't do a lot of shellfish.
    While we waited for our food, I walked around and took some pictures. This is the downstairs bar area:
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    On the way up the stairs, looking down into the dining area:
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    Looking out over the balcony/ second floor:
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    I spy DH!
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    I saw this giant connect-4 thing upstairs
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    This was above the second-floor sushi bar
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    Soon enough, our food started coming out. DH had the Rock Shrimp Tempura, which he thought was good not great.
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    We shared the Morimoto's Spare Ribs (appetizer portion) and these were INCREDIBLE. So melt-in-your-mouth! I would definitely get these again.
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    Kanikama Rangoon, which was good.
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    Pork Egg Rolls, also good. I really liked the dipping sauce, which DH says was typical sauce but I never use it in everyday asian food ordering, so it was new to me.
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    Morimoto Gomoku Fried Rice...we liked it but we weren't really used to that style. It was interesting, but we've had rice we like better
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    For dessert, we had the Chocolate Cream & Crunch. That is a tempura fried oreo...though all the pictures DH had seen leading up to this showed 2 oreos being served with this. So we were kinda sad about that because it, and the whole dessert was yummy.
    [​IMG]

    I made a trip to the restroom. I waked into the ladies, and did a double-take. There were framed photos of men on the wall. I instantly thought I was in the wrong restroom, so I walked back out the door, looked at the door and the skirted female image on the door, and went back in, and saw another woman in there. She said something like "I know, confusing". As soon as I walked back to the table and said "I was so confused!", DH said "the pictures?" He knew from reading reviews online.

    The walls in the stall (yes I know it's weird to take photos in the restroom but it was pretty!)
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    DH then took this picture in the men's room
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    Before we left Disney Springs, DH wanted to visit the Morimoto Street Food booth to get something he loves to take back- Cold Sesame Noodles
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    Still not completely dark, but it was pretty lit up
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    We had quite a walk to our stop, but before long, we were back home and ready for bed, and our first full day tomorrow!!
     
  19. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member

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    We really like the ribs and the cold sesame noddles at Morimoto's. Both my hubby and I did a bit of a double take when we went into the bathroom too.
     
  20. Mrhappyplace

    Mrhappyplace Well-Known Member

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    She seemed like a lovely woman to me and I'm sure she is a great wife to him.

    1)it wasn't a request it was a requirment.
    2)For those who don't watch The Leftovers the actor is Scott Glen, he also is currently playing the part of Stick on Daredevil on Netflix. And for the record this man did look like him but wasnt a deadringer as someone would have you believe.

    I really think either DW or Paul ate the other Oreo while I wasn't looking.


    The ribs may well have been the best ribs I've ever had. The cold sesame noodles were very disappointing to me, I've only had cold sesame noodles from a few of the many Asian restaurants I've eaten at mainly because it doesn't often appear on their menus. The two or three other restaurants I've gotten it from serve a very different version of it, namely that it contained enough sauce to coat all the noodles and I've never seen peppers in it only either thinly sliced cucumber or celery and some shredded cabbage.

    All in all I was pleased with our meal at Morimoto's and would return even though I do think it is vastly overpriced. The problem is that there are so many choices at WDW that I'm not sure when I will choose to return to one that wasn't in the best meal ever category. I think the only thing we ordered this time that I would order again would be the ribs. DW missed it but I watched the table next to us have the Japanese A5 Wagu beef and that smelled divine! I'd definitely say it is a restaurant that should be experienced once and that the interior of it is quite stunning. Like DW said we wished we had made the reservation for later when it would be dark out but even in daylight it was something special of a setting and I think it showed up a bit better in photos then it did in person. Speaking of which here is two shots I took on my cell phone.

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