Based on current Orlando theme park environment, visitors are considering the Universal Orlando Resort hotels more often. The partnership of Universal Orlando and Loews hotels blossomed into a solid relationship. For example, Cabana Bay Beach Resort offers high quality amenities at a value plus price. Cabana Bay Beach Resort possesses many veteran theme park admirers for good reasons. Some of them can be found at this link.
Still, Cabana Bay retains several characteristic guests dislike. Now, some guests dislike everything. However, these reasons hold logical concerns for most vacationers.
The Bayliner Diner provides quality resort hotel food court options. Though some guests complain about the quality of dining here, the value of this food court exceeds expectations. However, the collection of about 2200 rooms often dominates this food court. When Cabana Bay room occupancy rises so do the waits for food here. On evenings after the parks close, Bayliner Diner guests can face 20 minute (or more) waits for food. Families not expected this after a long day at the parks groan in frustration.
DISTANCE TO ROOMS
Cabana Bay offers a wide variety and supply of rooms. As a result, the trip from lobby to your room can feel like a workout. For example, if you are staying in a tower with an awesome Volcano Bay view, your feet will dislike you. Based on room locations, guests express not wanting to leave their room once they get there due to need of walking a long distance. This potential distance from lobby/food court makes purchasing a refillable freestyle cup less appealing due to the walk. I have heard many guests express that being in a tower room near Volcano Bay made then feel isolated from rest of resort hotel.
BUS SERVICE CAN BE INCONSISTENT
This reason borders on complaining versus valid logic. Guests who may have visited Cabana Bay in 2018 or before will glow when chatting about shuttle bus service to the theme parks. With the expansion of hotel rooms and other on-site hotels, the bus service still provides great value. Even on its worst day, the bus service to/from the parks at Universal Orlando dominates in terms of guest satisfaction over Walt Disney World’s version.
However, the bus service has lowered in terms of efficiency since 2019. Most days, the bus service works great before park opening and after park close. Yet after 11am each day, the bus service reduces in terms of number shuttles running. In addition, the shuttle that picks up at Cabana Bay also picks up at Aventura slowing everything down. During my stay at Cabana Bay in September 2021, we tested time it takes to get to Islands of Adventure via shuttle bus or walking. From about 10:30am each day, I arrived at Islands of Adventure several times walking before an associate taking shuttle arrived. For me, the walk was about 17 minutes each day.
BAD START TO STAY
In my experience, the arrival process to Cabana Bay involves potential stress. If driving to Cabana Bay, the entrance area breeds congestion. Guests unfamiliar with Cabana Bay can drive literally in circles. Once you find a place to park to check in, the drama expands. Cabana Bay earns a notorious reputation for excessively slow check-in process. Even with the addition of a type of mobile check-in, queues move slowly. For an example of mobile check-in process, please examine this link of process at Surfside Inn and Suites.
Even with mobile check-in guests find themselves waiting 15 minutes or more. On a typical Friday night, guests might endure a 45-minute check-in process or more. Then when they discover their room is an 8-minute walk, guests get agitated.
The rooms at Cabana Bay feature reasonable insulation between your room and your next-door neighbor. Still, if your room has a connecting room door then noise level is higher but tolerable. The noise level between rooms works 10 times better than at the Endless Summer Resorts (Dockside and Surfside).
However, the noise problems start in the hallways. Rarely have I been at Cabana Bay without groups making excessive noise in the hallways at most hours of day and night. For guests having lunch in their room then either taking a nap or typing a blog, the sound of workers and even the theme park serves as distractions.
Still, Cabana Bay functions as a great place for families so expect more noise from active young people. Cabana Bay also functions during times of year as a host accommodation for cheer and youth sporting events. Large groups of cheer teams and/or youth football teams congregating in the hotel hallway can be disconcerting. Add in the fact that they may be practicing in the common areas of the hotel, loud noises become commonplace. If you ever choose to stay at Cabana Bay or one of the Endless Summer Resort hotels during the first full weeks of December, prepare for noise
Cabana Bay may be the best value in terms of theme park resort hotels anywhere. However, no hotel lacks flaws. Please consider the things we love and dislike when making your lodging choices.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.