The Pirate Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort are the only place at Walt Disney World where you can sleep on a boat (well, with a mattress, at least). This review features photos of the pirate rooms and our thoughts on whether they are worth the money.
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…
For starters, these rooms are located in Trinidad South, the farthest section of the resort from 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 (or more) from Old Port Royale.
It’s almost as if Walt Disney World was having trouble booking these remote rooms or 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!
Ah yes, that price. 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. A few years ago, Caribbean Beach refurbished all guest rooms, except the Pirate Rooms. You can read our 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 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.
These mattresses are also really uncomfortable–very thin and “springy.” (That, and there’s no pull-down Murphy bed in the Pirate Rooms.) We stayed in the regular rooms at Caribbean Beach around the same time as the Pirate Rooms, and the quality was a night and day difference.
Likewise, 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.
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.
Overall, I’m not sure what else there is to say about the Pirate Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. I’m sure some people love these rooms, and will vehemently disagree with this review. 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 should stay away from the Pirate Rooms.
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? Share your thoughts in the comments!