On a recent training in Universal Orlando Resort, agents Maci, Ashley, Aubrey and Yaritza and I rented a private cabana for the day at Universal's Volcano Bay.
There are multiple locations around the park along with the option to have an upper or lower level, all of which reflect in various pricing.
Agent Ashley received an email the day before informing her of where to check-in the next morning. While we were personally escorted to the cabana shortly after check in, the line at the check in location is the same as those getting towels, meaning it was not short. As expressed by an additional guest checking into a different cabana, we would have greatly appreciated a separate line, since this caused our group about a half hour wait. We're all adults and made great use of our time getting some fun pictures before the park was filled with guests, but this is important to be aware of if you are traveling with children.
Fair warning, there is exactly one cookie in the welcome basket, but look how cute it is!
There was also a menu with items exclusively offered to Cabana Guests. We adored the wings!
Several agents started the day with a fun drink, while others opted for caffeine. We were surprised to learn the wine menu is significantly limited. Any tropical adult drinks must be purchased in a souvenir cup for a premium price, and any "refills" are then discounted. For those who would like soda, it should be noted that they are fountain drinks, not canned or bottled.
As we settled in, we pretty quickly noticed two things that could be improved. First, the seating seemed slightly lacking for 6. There is one long lounger and two chairs. This felt somewhat sparse for an all adult crew. We did ask about adding or bringing up more seating and were told it was not allowed and definitely enforced. Second, hooks to hang wet towels would have been greatly appreciated.
There are big conveniences that were thoroughly enjoyed as well. The towels that come with the cabana can be replaced throughout the day, possibly removing the need for hooks to hang them on.
Having a fridge to keep ones drinks cool and a safe with a key for personal items is also highly convenient. For me, the totem felt like the most VIP experience from the cabana. Instead of walking to get your your next virtual queue, you can make the reservation while conveniently waiting for snacks and drinks or while chatting with your party. It's also pretty cute, taking a little snooze in between reserving your virtual queues.
You can also use your totem to check wait times for rides if you don't wish to use your phone battery. If you prefer to use a phone, there are two outlets in the cabana. This adds a big convenience in the event that someone in your party needs to make a work call or meeting during the day, just be aware the Wi-Fi isn't the strongest. Still, having a private, quiet and secure location in the middle of a water park to do so isn't common.
In front of the cabanas, there is a sandy area with chairs for guests. These can be for anyone and are not exclusive for cabana users. This was nice for our group since some of the other agents not in the cabana were able to set up camp near by and enjoy some rides with us.
And the views... We could not get enough Krakatau.
A Cabana would be a great option for your vacation if...
You need a quiet, private space
You are celebrating something special like a milestone birthday or bachelorette trip
There is no price too high for an exclusive menu
You might want to skip this if...
You prefer to spend most of your time in the water instead of relaxing and or eating
Your family would enjoy a cabana by the pool just as much (it is significantly cheaper)