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an extremely stylish yet
budget-conscious resort rights on the doorstep of the universal parks, but is
it meeting people’s expectations? for this video I’m going to go through the
key features of the Cabana Bay Resort and I’ll give you a breakdown of both the
positive and negative reviews and I’ll also provide some hopefully useful
tips to get the best out of any vacation out of this hotel. Cabana Bay is located
right next door to Volcano Bay and is a 20-minute walk to Universal Studios
Florida and Islands of Adventure the hotel costs roughly 170 dollars per
night it’s themed with American mid-century nostalgia throughout the
resort which is delightfully kitschy. You get early admission to either Islands of
Adventure or Universal Studios, and this early admission alternates between the
two parks but applies to both during busy times and separate to that you get
universals volcano bay early admission every day and you get a private entrance
to this bar which is next door the vast majority of the five-star
reviews are praising the location of this resort as you’d expect so it’s
about 15 to 20 minutes walk to the parks with a stunning walkway and that’s with
shuttle options as well the pools get a lot of praise on
TripAdvisor, the slide is impressive, and towels are provided upon entrance to the
pool area which is a very nice touch. People are unsurprisingly very happy
with the amenities for this resort. The general impression is that it would be
very hard to be bored in this complex. Some obvious highlights for me are the
lazy river arcade rooms and its fitness center. The family suites are said to be very
well equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker, disposable
plates, silverware, and bowls all, useful stuff to have around. So make no mistake
this is a highly reviewed hotel, however, there have been some criticisms in
certain areas none of them too concerning, so, number
one: no Unlimited Express Pass, and for those of you that don’t know with this
you get to skip the line at most of the big rides and attractions.
Unlike the deluxe hotels on site at Universal which are the Portofino, the
Hard Rock and the Royal Pacific, you don’t get unlimited Express passes at
Cabana Bay which is a bummer for some people on TripAdvisor,
but at this price point I’m not entirely sure this is a reasonable expectation.
Now hotel reviews on food can be quite inconsistent from my experience but for
this hotel I was surprised to see disproportionately unfavorable reviews
with the food there are a lot of people who loved it but there’s clearly some
who had expectations for more upmarket options and one described the main diner
as a college style cafeteria. From what I’ve seen the food looks great but some
people have taken issue with it. Parking at cabana bay costs $18 per day.
Now I get it that a lot of hotels are charging this these days but it is a
sore point, especially for people coming in overseas like myself who want to stay
for two weeks to get the most out of the flights, so having to pay $18 a day is a
bit frustrating, and a lot of the negative reviews reflect that. Over two
weeks that’s two hundred and fifty-two dollars for parking at your own hotel,
ouch! It’s nice that there are no service fees at this hotel but negative reviews
highlighting the parking fees are completely understandable, I feel at
least that there should be a discount on that if you stay for longer than seven
days. One of the highlights of this resort is its lazy river, however ,you
can’t use it unless you pay for a tube, which range between six and fifteen
dollars, that is unless you brought one with you. In the round, it’s not really
something to die in a ditch over, but it would be a bit of a pain to have to
remember to take it down to the pool with you and, I think generally people
are just not used to paying for this sort of thing which is why it’s hurting
the reviews of this hotel. I’m hearing that the queues for the shuttle buses
are slower than you’d like at busy times especially if it’s the last hour of park
closure, I would think this point would really depend on the time of year that
you’re traveling. The reviews of the rooms overall are fairly neutral they’re
fine for most people but some have said they seem smaller than the pictures that
are advertised and smaller than you’d expect for the price. Also a few reviews
have mentioned the sleeper sofa as not being particularly comfortable so in summary not the best value in
terms of the cost for a three-star hotel. The resort is a big complex so be
prepared to walk a lot and after long days of being in theme parks this may be
a bit of overwhelming for some. There are so many cool things you can do at this
resort you you could have a holiday within itself without leaving the hotel
grounds and that’s a huge selling point for a lot of people. Ultimately I think
it really comes down to the proximity to the universal parks and the early
admission if you value that which you probably should, this is gonna be a
fantastic choice, it’s hard to argue it’s not the best choice at this price point. However if the close proximity and early admission is not
important, for example, if you’re staying for two weeks and have a lot of time, or
you’re not really therefore the parks, maybe you’re there for a conference or a
golf trip, in that case then I would say there are slightly more luxurious
options at this price point. Okay so tips for this hotel. Number one:
the view of volcano Bay is incredibly cool but I’m hearing that it can be
extremely loud from around 7:00 a.m. up to 10:00 p.m. so if that’s an issue
maybe avoid requesting a room around that side of the hotel. One suggestion I
saw was to request a room in the Continental building. This is the closest
building to the Food Court and lobby areas. Levels 3 & 6 of continental
also have launcher facilities, if that’s what you’re into. Number 2: loads
and loads of people are recommending the refillable Cabana by mug if you’re
there for four days or longer which can be used for soda, coffee, and tea etc,
apparently much cheaper than buying drinks multiple times every day. Number
three: if you’re on a tight budget a couple of people have recommend the
family suites if you’re willing to prepare basic meals and save money.
Number four: okay this next one is borderline cheap rather than frugal, but
here it is nevertheless, so you have to buy the tubes for the lazy river, but,
once you’ve used them you can ask staff to exchange it for a brand new packaged
one when you leave to take home which apparently they are more than willing to
do. Number five: a good tip to get to the universal parks would be to take the
water taxi from sapphire Falls resort this is not going to be for everyone
because you have to cross a road which isn’t the safest but basically you need
to cross adventure way and go to sapphire Falls Hotel which is a
10-minute walk away and get the water taxi from there and the key to this
route is that you get to clear through security much quicker
for getting to city walk. Number six: make use of the walking path to volcano Bay. I
saw a couple of one-star reviews because of people not understanding this. This
obviously helps with the early admission so you can go on most rides without the
crowds. Just remember to take your room key witht you oh and also you can pick up cabana
Bay pool towels to take with you on your way and then return them on your way
back. Number seven: pool hopping is an option which is 100% allowed which you
can do by the water taxi. I’m hearing that the Portofino is the best pool
hopping choice. So that’s it for my first video thank you so much for
watching I hope it met your expectations please do like I’m subscribe if you
found it useful. If you have any tips that you’d like to share please throw
them in the comments you can follow me on twitter @britFrugal. There’s gonna
be plenty of videos like this coming up on this channel but for now I’m going to
focus on the budget-conscious hotels in Orlando. For my next video I
plan to look at the reviews for the Rosen Inn Pointe Orlando


  • Charlotte O'Connor

    My tip for any UK visitors to this hotel or any other Universal hotels is to look at buying an Annual pass before your visit. An AP last December cost me approx $400, about £55 more than the usual 2 week pass for Brits. As an AP holder you get around 25-30% off rooms (plus other benefits). I saved $120 on my 2 night stay in December and $235 on my room for 3 nights this November, and $235 on my friends room. More than made up for the extra money on my pass

  • Lauren Adames

    We are staying at CBBR but have dinner reservations at the palm at the hard rock one night. How would you recommend or options we have to arrive. Thanks!

  • MrLadiesman216

    Stayed here for 10 days back in 2017 & loved it,going back later this year but gonna stay at the surfside inn at the endless summer resort this time.

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