Our second trip to FDR was almost as good as our first. Our family really enjoyed ourselves, and we hope to be able to return soon. There had been a few changes since our first visit in October 2009, but mostly things were as we had expected.
Here are some general observations about things we liked and things we would have changed:
•Our nannies, Shardene and Carmelina were excellent. They were very good with our children who can be quite difficult at times. They really made our vacation fun and enjoyable.
•Our daughter has issues with gluten in her diet, but the kitchen staff couldn’t have been more helpful. We were able to bring in a gluten-free pizza dough mix that they were able to make multiple personal-sized pizzas for her to enjoy throughout the week. Additionally, they made her gluten-free cookies from a different mix that we brought. The head chef was quite easy to work with and definitely made our vacation easier. Thank you!
•Since there were more people there than from our last visit, they were able to open up more venues for lunch and dinner. The Cotton Tree Grill was open every day, so that was a nice option for lunch. Additionally, having two options for dinner was nice as well. I did miss having a fully plated lunch with menus as lunches were buffet style instead, but I’m guessing that’s a function of the number of people. Overproof is easily my favorite restaurant.
•We took the opportunity to stay in the same room that we had stayed in last time so we knew what we were getting. However, we were surprised that they had removed the bathtub from the bathroom and replaced it with a shower. Fortunately, my kids are old enough to be able to take showers now, but I can see that this would be an issue with younger kids. Additionally, there is very little to keep shower water from spraying on the bathroom floors. We were constantly using towels to keep everything from being a mess. Hopefully, FDR will reconsider the use of a bathtub for their rooms.
•The water levels in the pools were lower than they had been. We were told that this was because there was a drought condition in the area and water levels were lower than normal. The drawback to this was that the water level was a few inches below the skimmer levels for the pool, so it wasn’t cleaning itself as effectively as it could have. While the lifeguards did an excellent job at continuously removing debris that fell in, the overall cleanliness of the pools would probably go up if they could use the built in filtration systems.
•The pool area ran out of towels on two different days during our visit, so we were dripping all over our room when we came in for the evening. The nannies were very good at supplying supplemental towels when that happened, but it’s unfortunate that more blue pool towels weren’t available at the pool.
•It’s too bad that there aren’t any fans near Overproof restaurant. It can get really hot if there isn’t a breeze.
•Very few fresh mangoes compared to last time. We were told that they weren’t in season so they were difficult to obtain. I love mangoes, so this was something of a disappointment.
•There is a menu at the bar if you want to try some new drinks that you’ve never tried before. Just ask the bartender.
•We still love lying in the hammocks over near the spa.
•There did not appear to be a personal trainer on staff any longer; if there was, we never spoke with him.
•I was not pleased with the staff member who asked if I could go up to the bar and bring back two beers for him, especially given that I was sitting at the pool watching my kids at the time. Granted, that was a onetime incident, he did make me feel somewhat uncomfortable.
•There was a plumbing issue with our sink where it would turn on by itself sometimes, and then turn back off. When we reported this, a mechanic came quickly to take a look but could not replicate the problem. However, it occurred intermittently during the week. While this didn’t take away from our experience, it was worth noting.
Did we have a good time? Yes we did. We would come back. We would recommend it to others. It sounds like I’m complaining about the issues above, but I’m really not. I just wanted to note some of our thoughts for FDR management (since I know that they monitor Tripadvisor closely) and for people who may not have been to FDR for awhile. It’s a great resort and a great place to take your vacation. Maybe, they’ll be able to implement some of the changes to make it even better.
See you next time!