True Story: I was NOT a Caribbean Beach fan. I rarely booked clients there. I’m ashamed to say that I even talked it down.
My first experience with the CBR (let’s shorten it from here on out… it’s a mouth full) was when I was 20 years old. My mom and I did a land and sea package and spent three days there. We were hardly at the resort, but it seemed so large and overwhelming. I remember that it seemed to take forever to get to the main building for breakfast and the bus system annoyed me.
Keep in mind- this was fresh off of me being a Cast Member, so I am pretty sure I was used to getting everywhere in my own vehicle and via backstage routes. I was a little spoiled at that time.
Last May my mom, sister and I took the grandkids on a trip and decided that we wanted to stay in a moderate resort and waited for the discount to come out. We let the cards fall where they would and ended up at CBR. I had been planning trips long enough to know that I needed to give CBR another chance. As I looked into it for other families, I realized that it actually looked really great and I was excited for a new experience.
It only took a few hours to fall in love. Days later you could hear me telling anyone who would listen that I was certain I could stay a week at CBR, never enter a park and have an absolutely wonderful, relaxing trip! I still hold to that. The resort is beautiful and there are hidden gems everywhere. I truly felt like I was on a Caribbean getaway.
Let me say again… the resort is HUGE! However, I really feel like this is an advantage. There is just so much to do thanks to it’s enormous size. Despite the size, we never felt surrounded by people. Our experience was so postive!
So exactly what do I love so much about this fabulously BIG resort?
1- Custom House
Upon entering, I was immediately swept away by the smell of pineapple. Can someone please make a Custom House candle? It totally put me in the mood for vacation. The building itself is really cool, but I’m all about the smell. It’s got to be the best smelling lobby on property!
2- The Playground
It’s tucked away amongst tall tropical trees and plants. That in itself made it a really neat experience for the kids. It was like searching through a tropical rainforest trying to find it. Truthfully, we found it by accident letting the kids explore different pathways.
I’ve seen several of the playgrounds on property and this one is my favorite. It’s shaded and the equipment is so neat. We jacked the kids up on Mickey waffles and let them climb and play for an hour. They had a ball!
3- Beachside Fire Pit Smore Night
Does this not scream vacation?
This doesn’t happen every night, but when it does… give me all the SMORES! If you are staying at CBR, check your resort guide for these types of activities. Everything was provided and Cast Members were there to assist.
(I had not checked my guide that night and was heading to the food court in my pajamas… because vacation. Pajamas or not, I will stop for Smores!)
4- The Marina
We didn’t take advantage of it on our last trip, but isn’t it lovely? I can’t wait to try it out another time.
5- Banana Cabana
I mean… I know I’m on vacation when I can tell a family member “I’ll be right back. I’m just going to walk over to the Banana Cabana.”
Big Sister and I love fruity drinks! We visited the Banana Cabana several times. It never let us down.
For the record- She always makes sure to check with the bar tender and makes sure he did not put alcohol in her drink.
(She really does. It’s kind of funny and kind of embarrassing….)
6- The Island Pools
The main pool is wonderful, but it was also really nice to swim in the quiet pool near our room. Baby Sister made a bestie named Poppy from England and they loved swimming together on our last trip. At the quiet pool I really felt like I could lay back and let the kids swim. (At the main pool I feel like I need to keep a closer eye on them because of all of the people and slides.) There is also a laundry room nearby and we would take turns watching the kids and doing laundry.
*Poppy and Baby Sister are wearing their own swimmies, but life vest are provided at each pool.
7- The Walking Trails
We were all so obsessed with the walking trails at CBR. Mom and I woke up early a couple of times and went for a morning walk. The wooden bridges, beaches and lush landscape make it such a fun experience. There were also lizards and squirrels everywhere. It might as well have been Animal Kingdom for a couple of our littles. They were very entertained.
8- The Main Pool
There are two slides for the bigger kids and a super cool splash area for the littles.
9- The Hammocks
Oh, the bliss! These are sprinkled throughout the resort.
Sand under your feet and palm trees shading you from the sun. Come on!!!
10- Movies under The Stars…
*Photo Credit: Lisa McBride
My mom put the littles to sleep and Big Sister and I snuck away to watch a movie poolside. They provided us with popcorn and we filled out mugs with Cherry Coke in the food court. The movie that night was Toy Story. I am pretty sure Big Sister brought her own blanket, as well. Even though it was May, it was in the 60’s and it felt great to snuggle up under a blanket.
Can you tell I love this resort? I’m almost tempted to book a vacation right this second. 😉