Friday, March 16, 2012

#Disney Woes--Where is the Magic? Caribbean Resort Review

My trip to Disney was not very magical.

Disney boasts and brags about their Magical Express luggage service, which we used.  When you arrive at Orlando airport, you don’t have to worry about your bags (which have special Disney tags on them), they will get them and deliver them to your room within three hours.  You just have to hop on their motor coach and go to your resort to check in.  Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

We arrived and easily found our bus.  We hopped on and before long, we were headed to our resort in a nice air conditioned coach bus with comfortable high back seats and a foot rest, watching all the promotional Disney flicks on the numerous TVs.  (And of course, we saw my friend's family in the promotional ad that featured them.) It was a nice way to get the kids excited and occupy them for the 1/2 hour ride.   

My husband though, worried about the luggage.  Since our flight was full, they checked in our carry-on bags and he was concerned they wouldn’t catch up to our checked suitcase, and to the Disney staff.  I told him it would be fine—they had the Disney tags on them.  I reassured him that Disney promises it to be hassle-free and they do this all the time.  I had complete faith in Disney.

We arrived at our hotel and checked in.  It was the Caribbean, one of Disney's moderate resorts so we had to catch a bus from the front desk to our destination of Aruba.  I really had high hopes, as the resort looked beautiful from the outside, but was quickly let down.  Our room was dirty.  And I mean dirt that had been there awhile.  There was a huge dust/spider web in the corner.  It had obviously been there awhile based up the amount of dust in the web.  Someone had taken labels off clothing and stuck them in three places on the armoire.  There most repulsive thing was the hair on the coffee tray by the sink, right next to the coffee cups.  And the hair looked like it came from you know where.  There was also dirt in the corners of the tray.  We opened the refrigerator to find a package of baby carrots.  That really makes me wonder how often those get wiped out.  I can only imagine the amount of salmonella that was festering in there.

My husband started his commentary.  If this is a moderate resort, what do the value resorts offer?  A mattress on the floor?  A hole in the floor to pee in?  A water hose for a shower?

We were starving so we left for dinner and spent some time walking around the resort.  It was nice and made to look as if we were in the Caribbean.  We came back from dinner, four hours after our flight landed, expecting to see our luggage in our room.  No such thing.  I called baggage and was told it arrived 30 minutes ago and was out for delivery.  A half-an-hour later, I called again.  I was told it just arrived  a few minutes ago (really, from what I heard before, it has been there an hour) and would be there shortly, but they had 1500 pieces to deliver.  They blamed the airport for the delay.  I called the front desk to complain around 9pm.  She said she would look into it and call me back.  I never heard back from her and at 9:45pm, I called and spoke to a manager who tried to blame the airport again and said, “You know how you have to wait for your bags at the airport sometimes.”  I called his bluff, “No, I have never waited over 6 hours.”  He then told me that it had been scanned into the resort at 7pm.  I didn’t get my luggage till 10:15pm (after 4 calls).  When the bellman came, I said to him, “Short-staffed tonight, eh?”  He nodded yes.  

I hate it when people lie to me.  I would have been much more understanding if they had told me from the get go that they were short staffed and apologized.  Don't blame it on the airport.

Not only that, I heard from other people who flew in on another day who didn't get their final bag till 12:30am!

This might not have been as big of a deal if we hadn't been traveling with young children, but we were.  Our girls were worn out from the excitement of the day.  It had been a few years since we had flown anywhere, and that, in itself, was exciting, especially for little one who doesn't even remember flying.  And, with our luggage not there, it was very difficult to get them to settle down to sleep.  In fact, my 7 year-old didn't fall asleep till nearly 10pm.  You might say, so what, just let them sleep in.  Sleeping in is not an option for my kids, although I desperately wish it was.  No matter how late they are up and how tired they are, my kids just don't sleep in.  Ever.  Period.  (They will probably start when they have to start getting up to go to school next year.)  I guess they get that from me.  My mother reports that we never slept in, either.

I was hoping for a miracle.  You know, dark hotel room, maybe they'd sleep in.  But by 6:30am, we are all up.  Starting four days of Disney being totally exhausted is not good.  

If only my girls had been in bed at 8pm.

Damn the Magical Express luggage.  Damn Disney.

Two hours after we arrived at the park, my five year-old was asking to return to the hotel as she was exhausted.  Of course, we couldn't as my friend's family was driving up from Sarasota to meet us for the day.  This was just the beginning of how Disney made me feel like a bad mommy, but I will save that for another post.  


Elizabeth Towns said...

This is a great review. I know it is not positive about the experience, but these are the kinds of things I need to know when planning a trip for my family. I always have wondered how any kid spends a day at the park having a great time. It's too much walking, too much heat, and a lot of standing in line. Then there is a lot of merchandising, selling, and paraphernalia for Disney to make more money. I appreciate your review, because regardless, my kids still want to go. I can plan my best trip by honest reviews.

Sharon Martin said...

What a way to make a first impression on your holiday, certainly isn't what you would expect from Disney. I must be the only person who has yet to travel to Disney, its good to read honest reviews so you know exactly what you are dealing with before you book.

ann said...

Hey I have never been to Disney either. But I must say if this had happened to me I would have been PO'd and of course tired the next day to. I would make sure you express this to them - maybe you will get a discount or something.

Remus said...

How disappointing.... especially when you consider how expensive it is to go to Disney in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your review of CB, the other moderates are much better and even the couple times we stayed in value resorts do not compare with the other all unpleasantness of CB

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your review of CB, the other moderates are much better and even the couple times we stayed in value resorts do not compare with the other all unpleasantness of CB

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your review of CB, the other moderates are much better and even the couple times we stayed in value resorts do not compare with the other all unpleasantness of CB

susan king said...

This sounds horrible ! I'll have to look here when we are able to go and make sure we don't stay at the same place !!

Trim girl said...

that sound like a nightmare

Vickie Jones said...

I have never been to Disney and I'm glad that you posted this review, it was very informative.

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