When we were making plans for my 40th birthday we decided to do it in style. We booked UC seats with Virgin and decided to split our stay between a suite at the Dolphin and Sugar Loaf at The Grand Floridian. As we were on the later flight from Manchester, we decided to spend the first night at the Hyatt MCO. It meant DH did not have to drive at the other end and could enjoy the full UC experience.....especially the bar!
I'll do a separate review of the Hyatt at a later date.
Before the review, I just want to say that when we arrived at the Dolphin, we had the pleasure of meeting John from Owner's Locker who was just arriving with our Purple Boxes. Al and the girls had their photo with the purple van which John then puts on Facebook. I was too shy! He asked if we were happy with the service and if there was anything they could do better. We assured him we were very happy with everything and we'd recommend them to anyone who visits regularly. You can give your lockers names and he told us he loved our two. We have called them 'One-eyed Willie' and 'Chester Copperpot'. You'll get it if you're a Goonie! He then dashed off to deliver boxes to more resorts but told us he hoped we'd make it to Epcot on Tuesday where he regularly meets up with his clients for a glass of wine. Sadly we didn't make it, but hope to next trip. (Plug over! )
Back to the Dolphin.......As I said, when we booked, we decided to treat ourselves to a Grand Suite which was a room with 2 double beds and a separate lounge with dining room table etc. We headed to the desk and hit a problem straight off. We were told our room category didn't exist but not to worry as we'd "been given a great suite instead". Luckily I had printed out our booking complete with photos off their website and we'd taken it with us. Al went back to the desk and showed the girl the print out and she admitted that actually the suite did exist but that they did not have that category available. Again...."don't worry we've taken care of you".
It was only around 10am at this point so we went out for the day leaving our luggage with bell services. By 3pm we still hadn't received the promised text to say our room was ready so we asked at the desk. They said the room was still being cleaned. Almost an hour later, we still did not have a room. By this point we were getting very annoyed. After ANOTHER trip to the desk, we were told that we had been given 2 connecting rooms rather than the suite we'd booked. One was ready, one was not. Al demanded a key to at least one room. We were meeting Cath, Bryan and Robert (Tweenie123! :D) at Bluezoo for dinner and wanted to unpack and get showered!
On entering the room it was clear immediately we had been downgraded. No separate lounge/dining room/bedroom. It was a studio. I was NOT happy. It smelt musty and our 'lake view', was from behind the huge fountain. It was a dark corner room and needed a refurb, it was very dated.
Al called down to say he wasn't happy and a duty manager (laughable management skills) came up to see us. I could not believe my ears when she told me that we had been upgraded if anything. Once again I showed her their website on my phone (i'd had all day to research the alternatives we may be given so I knew my stuff!). I pointed to the room photos on my screen and said is this a studio or not because it looks like one to me? She had to admit we had been downgraded 2 categories on the first room but that we had been given an adjoining room (if it ever got cleaned) so we'd done well! She then told us we should be thankful we had a suite at all as they were booked up!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS WOMAN????!!! :eek: THIS IS NOT A SUITE!!! She told me there was nothing she could do but she would credit us $75....whoopie do...she missed the point of us wanting a nice suite for my birthday completely. We're really not hard up for $75. The second room turned out to be horrible. I'll post a pic of the views when i've found them.
We decided we were not staying more than the one night and Al got on the phone to the fabulous JoR. She immediately booked us in to a club level room at the Yacht Club from the next day (with an AP rate! :D). The "duty manager" seemed shocked we weren't actually going to stay in that crappy room and then knocked another $100 off the rate when she knew how mad we were. If i'd wanted 2 crap rooms, i'd have booked them. If we hadn't had dinner plans there, we'd have just wrote it off and left immediately.
Next morning we tried to get breakfast before leaving but couldn't get anywhere near 'Picabu' thanks to the mass of Brazilian cheerleaders in there. We gave up and loaded up the car to move next door.
We were greeted at the YC valet desk and whisked up to a beautiful room overlooking Stormlong Bay that was ready for us, even though it was early. Jo had called them directly and sorted everything.
Lesson learned......Disney do it better! From now on we'll stick to the Yacht Club and Boardwalk Inn when we want to stay in that area. We'll go for style and service over size! ;)
Results 1 to 9 of 16
11-07-2011, 09:26 AM #1
A review of the WDW Dolphin
11-07-2011, 11:31 AM #2
11-07-2011, 12:14 PM #3
Sorry things did not turn out so great. I don't blame you for getting upset. Recently we decided to try and stay at a different resort (moderate and deluxe) everytime we go to WDW.The SWAN and Dolphin have never appealed to us but now I will not even consider them.My first name is CHRIS. I live in NE Ohio.
11-07-2011, 01:22 PM #4
WOW. I would not have expected to hear a story like yours from a place that looks like that. Thank you for sharing. We have thought about staying there for at least a couple of nights in the future but I keep hearing service like this then no way.
Similar scenario happened to our friends who went to Las Vegas except they were placed in a completely different hotel then the one they originally booked and weren't told until they tried to check in. It was a fancy hotel (Belagio I think) and they were downgraded to a crappy one off the strip. No comps or anything and they waited for 4.5 hrs. before they could find them a hotel to stay at.
2003 Honeymoon Orange Lake CC
2005 Christmas All Star Sports
2007 Summer All Star Sports
2010 Christmas Coronado Springs Resort
2011 All Star Movies F&W Festival
2012 Pop Century F&G Festival
2013 POR and Orange Lake CC
11-07-2011, 02:20 PM #5
Honestly, i've never come across anyone as rude as she was. There were other people complaining at the desk that they had not got what they booked either.
Here are the views from the windows of our 'lake view suite'. When I told her it wasn't much of a view she said she could see the lake ok. Apologies for the quality I took these on my phone as the camera was packed away.
11-07-2011, 02:51 PM #6
Oh that stinks. I would write a big nasty letter....and complain.My first name is CHRIS. I live in NE Ohio.
11-07-2011, 06:25 PM #7
I can't imagine anyone calling that a lake view (unless cement counts as a "lake" of cement) I think I would have been a little more irate then you were though; you booked this in advance and had pictures of the room level you expected and they not only downgraded you but attempted to convince you that you had been upgraded Just for insutling your intellegence you should submit a review of that resort to every vacation guide that covers Orlando.
11-07-2011, 07:58 PM #8
I'm sorry you had a bad start. I'd have been upset too. That is just unacceptable. I hope the rest of your trip was better & that you had a great birthday despite the rough start.Shonda
Ready for our next Disney Adventure May 2012
11-08-2011, 09:27 AM #9
Not a glowing report on the Dolphin there. Sounds like they’d overbooked their suites and we’re trying to fob you off with whatever they could muster We could see more of Bay Lake from our standard studio room at BLT than their supposed ‘lake-view’ :D
Glad you got sorted out ok at YC though. but yeah, not what you want at the start of your holiday.