We planned a very special trip to Disneyland with our family of eight, six children, my husband and myself. This was four of our children's first Disneyland trip and the older two hadn't been in eleven years. As a large family we needed an appropriate place to stay with a kitchen where I could cook some of our food, a hotel room wouldn't cut it and two hotel rooms would not only be very expensive but still wouldn't have a full kitchen.
My bad experience with Dolphin Cove started the morning we were leaving home to drive there. I called to ask the staff if they offered any special services as it was my husband's birthday and wanted to have a little surprise waiting for him in the room, which I was happy to pay for. They didn't offer that, which was fine, but my problem was that when I called, they told me that we didn't have a reservation, even though I had a confirmation email and confirmation number from them. If I hadn't called to ask about something for my husband's birthday, we would have arrived and had no reservation!
I was told there was nothing they could do that we just didn't have a reservation and that I had to call the reservation number to get it worked out. It ended up taking me about fourty five minutes on the phone to get it straightened out, so we were 45 minutes late leaving for our trip, not to mention the stress of being told the day we were supposed to arrive that we had no place to stay. Not only that but the staff wasn't at all sympathetic about the situation, all they could say was that it was fine "Not a problem Miss," because they had a place for us to stay.
We arrived very late, around 11:30 at night with six young, tired and hungry children. I had requested a ground level room when I booked the reservation. We got to our room, (or so I thought it was our room,) it was ground level as I had requested. I turned on the living room light and sat on the couch to nurse the baby while my husband and other children dragged all our stuff in. It never crossed my mind to look around because we may not have been given the correct room. Once most of our stuff was in, the children started turning on lights to look around. They asked me where everyone would sleep since there was only one bedroom! I reserved a two bedroom condo, not a one bedroom. We were all so frustrated. My husband had to go back to the front desk and tell them while we all waited.
They gave us a different room, at the opposite end of the complex AND upstairs, so we had to drag all our stuff out of the room we were in (no one from the staff offered to help or offered a luggage trolly,) to the opposite side of the complex and then up the stairs. By now the children were all crying and to say my nerves were on edge is an understatement. Again, no one seemed to care about the mistakes being made, they simply shrugged it off and said, "no big deal, we have a room for you." Hardly even an "I'm sorry sir."
The condo was very hot and stuffy, it was well past midnight and we were so hungry, tired and now sweaty and sticky. The only air conditioner was a wall air conditioner in the living room. We turned it on. It did work well... to freeze out the living room where three of our children were sleeping, but not to cool the two bedrooms which were still so hot that we couldn't sleep well at all. The ones in the living room couldn't sleep either because they were freezing and there wasn't any blankets or sheets for the pull out beds. We were simply to tired to call and try to get them to bring us some.
I got up in the night and gave them our blankets since we couldn't have them on because it was so hot in the bedrooms, even with the covers, they were still really cold. I ended up turning off the air because I was worried they would get sick.
I guess the experiences of our first night with them really left a bad taste in our mouth about the place. Other than the air conditioner problem, the condo itself was spacious, well appointed, clean and had a very well stocked kitchen, all things I did appreciate. It was also the best price I could find anywhere, which was what mostly influenced our decision to stay with Dolphin Cove.
My dad came to visit us for two days and stayed in the Grand Californian Disneyland hotel, we spent most of our time over there when we weren't in the park. I really appreciated the amazing customer service and all the little extras they offer. Of course we'd have never been able to afford staying there ourselves, however my dad did get us a suite there for our last two days. To the credit of Dolphin Cove, because of our bad experience with them, they did allow us to get out of our reservation and refunded two days of our money when we checked out early.
We left two items in the condo, which we figured out the same day we checked out and went to the Grand Californian. We called and were told they weren't there. I knew they were, I even knew exactly where they were but was told I wouldn't be permited to go back and get them, they insisted they weren't there but would call us if they were found. They never called. I called them three times the first two times being told they weren't there and finally the third time, being told they were found and they could mail them back at our cost. Fine, we wanted them back. Almost two weeks passed and still they didn't come in the mail. I called back today and was told they were sitting at the front desk and they didn't know who's they were or what they were doing there! SIGH! I gave them our mailing address, AGAIN, and hopefully they actually sent them out this time. They did say they woudl do it at no cost because of the hassle.
Funny thing was, I was talking to my sister the other day telling her about our trip. I told her we stayed in a condo not to far from Disneyland but weren't happy with the place. Guess what she said?! She's someone that goes to Disneyland at least twice a year (I should have asked her where to stay.) She said, "I bet it was Dolphin Cove where you stayed!" HOW DID YOU KNOW?! My other sister had a time share there and they had stayed there together many times because of the good prices and spacious rooms but said they were never happy with the place and they had TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! There you have it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.