Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort Review
The Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort are the only place at Walt Disney World where you can sleep on a boat…with a mattress in it. This review features photos of the Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired hotel rooms and whether they are worth the money. (Updated February 9, 2021.)
I’ll start by stating that every red-blooded American loves pirates. Captain Jack Sparrow is a national treasure, and approximately 84.7% of all Americans have dressed as him or some other pirate at least once. I think most of us yearn to someday be pirates (minus the whole nefarious side of things that we conveniently overlook).
As a result, there’s a lot of appeal to the Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort. Adults and children alike recognize the cool factor in pirates. These are definitely cool rooms…at least in theory. Unfortunately, they just are not worth the money.
There are few things at Walt Disney World that I am willing to unequivocally say are not worth it. Usually, this is an “it depends” type thing. In this case, the Pirate Rooms flat out aren’t worth it. That is, unless your kids really love pirates, and you want to make the trip special for them without regard for your own comfort.
The problem with the Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort is threefold: 1) location, 2) price, and 3) quality of the regular rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort. Let’s take a closer look as to why…
Let’s start with an update, which includes a couple pieces of good news about the Pirate Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
First, the rooms have received a soft goods refurbishment since we first reviewed them. This is basically a mostly minor cosmetic refresh. Above is the new room, below is the old one.
Noteworthy changes are the larger, wall-mounted flat panel television, new carpeting, and a lightened up color scheme. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the rooms aren’t as drab as before–it’s an upgrade. However, the bed runners have been removed, which is a downgrade.
Another upgrade comes via the beds. They’re still full-sized and still have thin mattresses, but they’ve been upgraded to a thicker foam as compared to before. (Note that the before here is a few years ago–it had been a while since we had stayed in one of these.)
The next improvement is not to the Pirate Rooms themselves, but is a bigger deal even though it’s indirect. Here, we’re talking about the Disney Skyliner.
The hub station of the gondola system is directly across the water from the section of Caribbean Beach where all of the Pirate Rooms are located. This is a big win for guests who book the Pirate Rooms.
Speaking of which, the Pirate Rooms are located in Trinidad, the farthest section of the resort from the main lobby and Old Port Royale (pool, food court, etc).
Now, I am hardly averse to walking, but these are (as my grandpa would say) a country mile away from everything else. It’s realistically about a 15 minute walk from Old Port Royale.
While that’s still the case, having the main Skyliner station about 5-10 minutes away is a big improvement. Moreover, two Coke Freestyle machines plus Spyglass Grill, one of our favorite ‘hidden gem’ counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World, have been added to Trinidad.
(Unfortunately, these dining enhancements are not currently operating during the phased reopening of Walt Disney World. If you’re booking a 2022 vacation, expect them to be back by then.)
While those upgrades definitely help tip the scales in favor of the Pirate Rooms, it’s still insufficient. In our Best Room & Locations at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, we have a rundown of recommended building number requests. Suffice to say, there are better options, and many of them are standard rooms with no location surcharge.
Ironically, Walt Disney World was having trouble booking these remote rooms and receiving guest complaints about them, and decided to address the problem by refurbishing them as Pirate Rooms, thereby capitalizing on the pirate craze and adding a unique appeal for the rooms.
Also, increasing the price in the process. Ahh, Disney, you wiley minxes…never failing to find ways to charge more! The Pirate Rooms cost about $50+ more per night than equivalent regular rooms. I write “equivalent” loosely, as the location farther from Old Port Royale really makes the Pirate Rooms lesser rooms, but I think we’ve already addressed that concern.
I view the Moderate Resorts as the Walt Disney World hotels you book when you want to splurge a bit to move up from a Value Resort, but are on a tighter budget than necessary for the Deluxe Resorts. Given my assumption, I find it wholly unreasonable to pay ~$50/night more for inferior rooms.
The quality of the final rooms is the final nail in the coffin. We regularly stay in the regular rooms at Caribbean Beach, including around the same time as the Pirate Rooms, and the quality was a night and day difference. For the sake of comparison, above is a photo of the standard rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort.
However, the standard rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort are nicer. You can read our Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Review for a detailed look at the regular guest rooms (along with the common areas and other elements of Caribbean Beach…no point in this post being duplicative), but suffice to say, they are like the Polynesian-lite now.
The Pirate Rooms just do not compare to the regular rooms from a basic quality perspective. The finishings and style of the regular rooms is superior to the Pirate Rooms. In fairness, you might personally prefer the style of the Pirate Rooms, but from an objective perspective, the refurbished regular rooms are nicer.
The details like the carpet, dressers, and housing unit for the fridge are relatively cool. The style is squarely aimed at kids, but it’s still fun. The style of these Pirate Rooms is fairly cool, especially the beds which are like pirate ships. Pirate ship is exponentially cooler than a race car in terms of novelty bed designs. Still, these are full size beds as compared to the queen beds in the regular rooms at Caribbean Beach.
As with the other rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort, bathrooms are basic. The sink is located outside of the bathroom, separate from the main room by a curtain.
Nothing special about the bathroom itself.
Ultimately, aside from the “my kids loved them!” argument, I’m not sure how else they are even remotely defensible. There’s nothing wrong with catering to your kids on a Walt Disney World vacation–especially if the trip is for their benefit–but that amounts to sentimentality, not an honest assessment of the rooms.
Anyone wanting good value for their money or a more comfortable stay should avoid the Pirate Rooms. That’s true even after the minor enhancements to the rooms themselves, and the addition of the Disney Skyliner. Even now, these are our least favorite rooms at Walt Disney World; we highly recommend everyone but the biggest buccaneer buffs book elsewhere.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Do you like the Pirate Rooms, or do you agree about them being overpriced and inferior to the regular rooms? Would you consider splurging on a stay here for the sake of your kids? Planning on staying here someday? Does the nearby Skyliner hub change your perspective on the Pirate Rooms? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
My adult son and I stayed at a Pirate Room this last week. It was dark and cramped. The bed mattresses were not good at all. Mine had some kind of hard plastic top that was very uncomfortable and his bed was very hard. The sheets did not stay on the beds very well.
The bathroom was a shower with toilet in one room and a double sink outside that room. I found it hard to dress in the closed door of the bathroom, so I would wait until my som was in the shower and quickly dress for the day or call out to him not to open the curtain while I dressed.
The soap for the shower ran out after the third day, and I called for a new one, guess what? We never got one and we ended up using the face bar soap for our showers.
Clean towels were dropped off on my bed the third day, and we never had more and saw no service people.
The rooms were quiet and we only heard our neighbors one time in the morning.
Spyglass Grill is closed. There was no Coke Freestyle Machine. We were fairly close to the pool and the bus which was nice. Short walk to the Skyline Hub. Long walk to the lobby and dining. Only place open for dining is the Marketplace. The breakfast was okay: hot and quickly ready. We mobile ordered from our room and waited a few minutes for it to be ready. Tip: Sit outside, it is quieter and shaded.
The Skyliner Hub broke several times while we were there-at least 5 times. Twice in the morning and three times to go home to the resort causing us to have to rush over to the closest resort when we were at Epcot to get a “recovery bus.” The wait for the bus was kind of long; however, everyone was crowded together waiting and many people did not have their masks on. Disney should have had a cast member directing people to the buses, but each time this happened the only cast members were at the bus and they really needed them in the crowded line. Our bus driver dropped off everyone at their lobbies, we got dropped off at the Skyliner Hub. After a long night, we had to walk further to our rooms. I was hoping he would at least drop us off at the bus stop as I have arthritis in my hip and it would have helped a lot. I even asked him if he would and we had the same driver each time and he gruffly said, “No.” funny thing is, he drove right past the bus stop that would have been closer when he drove out of the resort area.
My husband and I are planning a trip in Nov. or Dec. and Caribbean Beach Resort Pirate rooms are the only ones showing up in that area. If you can only get the Pirate rooms bring a foam mattress. Bring your own fitted sheets. Bring your own shower soap.
I will be looking for another resort or maybe stay out if Disney Resorts.
Has anyone ever had luck changing from a pirate room to a standard room at the Caribbean Beach Resort? The pirate room was the only room available for our Oct 21 trip, but I would REALLY like the queen sized bed for my two teens. Any tips on moving rooms before we go?
We decided to go a day early for our latest trip to WDW the last week in February and thought Caribbean Beach would be nice to check out. The Pirate room was the only thing available with AP discount so we did it. I agree that for a longer stay, probably not worth the extra cost, but we enjoyed it. It wasn’t as cheesy as I thought it was going to be and had a lot more pirate detailing throughout the room than I had expected. It was a long walk to the lobby and food but for one night that was ok, glad we did it.
I believe these are the only full size beds left on property that they aren’t actively replacing.
Have you seen any bounce back offers lately?
The pirate room was so cool for my family to stay in during a weekend trip to Orlando. I have three daughters and they loved it! I recommend it. Not many places where you sleep in a pirate ship. I thought the rooms were great. I liked it better than having to pull down the second bed off the wall like you do in a value resort.
Fair enough! Thanks for sharing your perspective–always good having different points of view than our own. Hope others enjoy them as much as your family did!
You mean the mattresses were worse than they are now?!? That hardly seems possible. Although I have found the mattresses at most resorts too soft for my liking and the pillows likewise these mattresses are the worst. That being said we were on the AP 40% discount and had our car so the location wasn’t that bad. But carless and paying any more than we did is a no way Jose thing. And yes the pirate motif is really cool. The only thing missing was a working wheel to steer the ship er bed and a plank to make your wife walk when she steals the blank. Aye matey.
I stayed in a pirate room in 2017, as a single mom with 8 and 10 year old boys. Prices have increased since then, apparently, relatively speaking, but at the time it seemed AWESOME. Even though there were renovations and no restaurant on site at the time aside from a food truck like thing. The resort pool plus pirate rooms was tween boy nirvana, and made me super cool by extension. We were all strong walkers and had no issues ubering to other resorts to eat, which was key. But, I wouldn’t change a thing about that trip.
We stayed at Carribean Beach in the pirate rooms. We have gone to Disney many times over a decade and these rooms, by far, have been the WORST!!! Actually, I’ve liked every place and room we’ve stayed in until this last visit. The reviews I read about the beds…all true! They were so uncomfortable, uneven, and the mattress didn’t seem to fit the bed right. I had to take sleeping pills the last two nights just to get some sleep. My first impression was a bad one. The room is very dark and dreary. Everything in it was basically dark brown. The boat beds were unsafe for my kids when they were playing. There were only lights above the beds, not in the middle of them. The middle had a barrel for a nightstand that was so small, we put the phone on the floor so our cell phones could fit in that small space. There was no clock in the room either. The location of these, to me, felt very secluded from everything else. I felt as if I rarely saw other kids by our area. The walking distance to the main pool wasn’t too bad but still longer than any I’ve had in the past. The real kicker….these rooms were an upgrade! They are way inferior to other rooms so I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out why they cost more! These rooms were the only part of our vacation that I hated! Read the reviews, think twice before booking these pirate rooms!
My sister stay at pirates room At CB. We are so afraid because of al the reviews we read about the area. She separate the vacations late, like 30 days before the trip in high season. The results, pirates rooms was the cheapest option to stay at Disney Hotel. I stay at Pop Century Wicho is really near to CB.
She ask for a room near to transportation and was like 30 seconds from the Trinidad transportation area. The room was excellent, the mattress are memory foam.
After all we read the experience was wonderful. The walking distance to the Center town was like 7 minutes. Trinidad area has its own food area and a pool.
We’ve been upgraded apparently to a pirate room. Only me and my husband. You’d think they’ll be better for families.
We just stayed in the Pirate rooms in the Trinidad section of the Caribbean Beach Resort. We were VERY DISAPPOINTED with the quality of the beds. We felt like we were sleeping on a kinder mat on a concrete floor or sleeping on a fold down table in a camper. Then there were gnats in the bathroom every night. My daughter commented that she felt like she was using a bath house at times. As far as the decor, it was nice. We have stayed in the All-Star Movies and Coronado Springs, which we would recommend both of these.
Its a 10 minute or less walk to the pool area from Trinidad south. Spyglass grill is amazing in trinidad too.
The rooms had to have been updated. The flooring and bathrooms are different. The beds we had was memory foam no springs. The rooms are great! The pool in this area is super nice too.
I’m sorry but I guess I’ll be the one that has to disagree! We stayed in the pirate rooms last April and I absolutely loved them! I like having my room away from the pool and food court. Our family walked to the food court every morning for a drink and it was not that bad. I actually enjoy just walking and enjoying whats around me before heading to the parks. But I never do the pools. If I want to swim, I’ll spend a day at the waterparks. I take my vacation to spend in the parks anyways. Not hang out at a pool at my hotel. I never even noticed any discomfort with the beds either. I like the pirate rooms better than any of the rooms Ive stayed in so far. But lets talk about the hotel itself… Im not impressed with their busses. You’d think it would be all the same but their bussing times are awful. I was not impressed with their food court either. The head chef was not good with my gluten allergy and I got treated like crap on several different occasions. The one occasion, the girl that rung me up whispered she was sorry and gave each of us a extra snack credit and I was under the impression this chef is not easy to get along with… Btw, anywhere else I have gone, I have never had issues like that. I dont like how the food court is right on top of the swimming pool either. Just a lot of people coming in and out of there in swimsuits and it is a free for all for kids. Just too crazy. I am not big on going to any of the food courts to actually eat other than the last day but even so it just gives me an opinion that Id rather stay in another resort that if I do want to stop in the foodcourt that it has that Disney charm about it and I feel comfortable with having to get my allergy needs met and not treated like crap about it. . So that being said, despite loving the pirate rooms, I prbly won’t be going back for the bad bussing and food court not very friendly when it comes to needs that I cannot help.
We just arrived at our pirate room. The room decor is definitely pretty cool (keep in mind we are not traveling with children), but I agree with the downsides in article. The beds are small (noticed this when my husband and I laid in the bed together) and the mattresses are not supportive at all. They are very thin and soft (I can literally squeeze it between my fingers) and creak and groan when you sit and move around on them (sounds like when you lay on an air mattress). WDW could have at least invested in a memory foam mattress when they figured out a regular one wouldn’t fit (although I’m not seeing why or how it wouldn’t fit). We’ve been attempting to switch to a regular room since booking, but one of the reasons we got this room is because it’s so booked up here for the season. We’re still going to attempt a switch
while we’re here. I’m not sure why they charge extra for these rooms. We haven’t tested out the walk to the dining area yet.
My husband and I were “upgraded” to a pirate room for our Anniversary trip. I asked for another room and was told a standard room wasn’t available, but might become available the next day. My husband convinced me to go look at it. I burst into tears after opening the door. Not very romantic. I immediately went back to the lobby and asked to see a manager, still teary-eyed. Amazing how a standard room had magically appeared. Beware of the pirate room upgrade!
We stayed in the Pirate room in November. We had to book this room because of the free dining. No one liked this room not even our son! We all preferred the Royal Guest rooms at Riverside. The Pirate room felt incredibly small and we kept banging into the large clunky beds and all of us had huge bruises after a week there. We never stopped to eat breakfast at the resort because it was so far away we just jumped in the rental car and ate at the parks. And my kids wanted to swim, but we would have had to drive to the pool! Oh and let’s not forget that our room didn’t have a clock in it! Not worth the extra money!!
This has to be Misinformation…The photos on The official Disney site has very different imagery..Have remodeled the Rooms and Bathrooms…On virtual video tours on Tube Tube the toilets in the bathroom infrastructure are not even next to the shower and the room has a very spacious Bathroom…And the Videos are befitting and the same as the Site’s website photos! There is no way these rooms are not larger then the others in the resort…And in the Interest of Proximity…There is another Typical “Disney Unofficial, tourist, Blog, Etc” website that claims The pirate rooms are closest to the main Pool! Misleading.
You can look on a map and see they are certainly not the closest rooms to the Centertown area. Perhaps the other review you read showed the newly refurbished rooms, which the pirate rooms are not. Not misleading at all.
The review I disagree with. I also had different decor and flooring. Also we had s memory foam bed no springs…
We recently stayed at the Caribbean resort. Room was adequate, yes we had two double beds, but they were very comfortable. Our only complaint was when we checked in our room was not ready. We were told at the front desk that they would notify us when room was available. Five hours later we still had not been notified that our room was ready. Husband had to call, and ended up having to call twice to see if room was available. On second call and a long wait we were told room was ready. So, at 9 p.m. at night we were moving into our room. It would be nice if there was a service to take advantage of like a cart of some type to help move in your luggage etc.
They will bring your luggage to your room for you ,if you get there early before your room is ready just leave them at luggage check get a ticket and when you get to your room call the number and within 15-40 minutes they will deliver them to your room .we had a kid named Elvis with the dark hair and chops drop them off gave him $5 bucks and done.Easy and if book 30 days before arrival date you can get magical express tags mailed to your home put them on your luggage before you check them at your home airport, log info on My Disney App and you don’t even have to touch or see your bags until they magically appear in your hotel room when you walk in. Awesome!!from your home airport to your Disney Resort Hotel room.(I believe you have to have a non stop flight and can’t be a international flights)
It’s semi irrelevant, at this point, as Magic Express is ending in 2022, but we come from Canada and can get and use the luggage tags as well.