Christmas Trip Review: Port Orleans French Quarters

I want to write a quick caveat before getting into my review. I’ve said it a million times for restaurants and wanted to stress it again here: reviews are incredibly subjective. One poor experience can lead one to have a negative opinion of a certain restaurant or resort. Not only that, but a poor experience can happen anywhere. A family friend always stays at Deluxe resorts and has had a poor experience at the Grand Floridian. I’ve heard of people having bad experiences at the Polynesian, as well. These are massive resorts that are subject to a slip-up every now and then. Don’t let one bad review skew your opinion. Port Orleans French Quarters has been very good to us. But – we’ve been debating changing resorts or upgrading to a Deluxe. This may have been the push we needed.

We spent two Christmases at Disney’s Coronado Springs. We really enjoyed the resort, but it quickly became “stale” for us. It’s a rather large resort and although it’s beautifully themed, the rooms simply didn’t do it for us anymore. In 2013, we looked to find a new resort. We eventually settled on Port Orleans French Quarters. We liked how small it is – as one of the smaller resorts at Walt Disney World, the lobby and sole bus stop is only a 3-5 minute walk from every room. It’s also wonderfully themed and situated along the Sassagoula River, presenting some awesome views.

The resort had been very good to us, but this year it failed to meet its marks. We arrived around 12:30pm. The cast member who checked to see if our room was ready and assured us that we’d receive an early check-in. The room was dirty upon check-in. The beds were made, but there was a thick coating of dust on the furniture, and the rugs had crumbs and dust. We even discovered dead bugs along the windowsill and bathroom ceiling. We figured that the room was cleaned in haste to allow for our early check-in. We were disappointed to find the room in the same condition the next day after returning to the park. My mom called the maid service and aired her grievances. They assured us that the room would be vacuumed and cleaned better. The next day the beds were made, but the room hadn’t been vacuumed and the furniture was still dusty. After calling the maid service again, a maid soon arrived to our room. Rather than knocking, the maid just walked in. She started complaining, raising her voice and claiming that she had vacuumed the room already. When we pointed out the dust and crumbs, she plugged in the vacuum and began vacuuming with a vicious motion, often hitting into the furniture. After she finished, she continued to complain about having to clean the floor. My mom had enough, and in a calm but stern manner, told the maid that if she was to speak to her with respect, she’d demand the same in return. She then stressed that if my family was to spend nearly $300 per night, that we’d expect the room to be cleaned. The maid grew silent, thanked us, and exited the room.

Another big reason why we’d stay at Port Orleans French Quarters was the transportation. Between the size of the resort and the one bus stop, we’d always get on the first bus for our respective park. This was not a problem – when a bus showed up. We’d often wait 30 minutes or longer for a bus. One day, my sister and I had early FP+’s for Hollywood Studios. We waited nearly 45 minutes for a bus and missed our first FP+. Fortunately, it was for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which my parents don’t go on. We were able to use their FP+ that I had reserved at a later time for the ride.

The experiences at the resort wasn’t enough to “ruin” our trip. Yes, it was stressful, but nothing can ruin our Walt Disney World vacation. We grinned and beared it. We won’t be staying at the French Quarters next year. I think we’ll opt for a Deluxe Resort like the Beach Club. While a dirty resort can happen anywhere, staying in close proximity to two theme parks should alleviate the transportation problems a bit.

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