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2 days on beach

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Columbus, OH
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2 days on beach

We are taking another cruise in July and would like to stay a few nights in the Cocoa Beach area afterwards. Ive looked around and found 2 hotels that might work....our criteria is a good pool and on the beach (or close walking access). Would like to be in close walking distance to food...but will have a car so thats not a huge deal.

- Ron Jon ($250 a night)

- Resort on Cocoa Beach ($240 a night)

We are a family of 5 so are being forced to get a suite (a standard would work fine!)....prices seem a bit high....is this about average for July?

Which of these 2 hotels would you pick and why? Are there any others that come to mind that would fit our criteria?

Thanks in advance!

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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1. Re: 2 days on beach

If the pool is important to you, then the Ron Jon Cape Caribe Resort is something the kids will like because of the sprays, small slides, and lazy river. There are two parts to the resort; the main building overlooks the pool, but is 3-4 minutes walk from the beach, and a second building overlooks the beach itself. I think that most of the suites are in the latter. The RJCCR has a nice beach, but is farther north than the busy part of town, so you might have to drive for 5 minutes before you get to a variety of restaurants.

The Resort on Cocoa Beach is all in one building. The pool there is nice, but doesn't compare to RJCCR or some of the nicer pools at Disney. Some of the rooms there have direct ocean views, but most have side views or no ocean view at all. It is more convenient to restaurants and shops than RJCCR.

July is a busy time in the Cocoa Beach area, so the prices you quote aren't out of line for a suite or 2 BR apartment. If you would have asked me, I would have guessed $225, but we now have our own place, so I don't know the rates like I once did.

Another nice place is the Discovery Beach Resort. It is just north of the pier, about midway between the RJCCR and ROCB. The pool there is adequate, but probably not quite as nice as ROCB. The units there are 1, 2, and 3 BR. Every unit there has a direct ocean view, and there are restaurants and a Publix supermarket within walking distance.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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2. Re: 2 days on beach

BTW, the Hampton Inn has a few oversize rooms that sleep 5 in three beds. The pool there would be smaller than the previously-mentioned hotels, but the rooms do have an angled view of the ocean. It is just slightly off the beach, maybe a 1-minute walk on a boardwalk.

Columbus, OH
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3. Re: 2 days on beach

Thanks...we will be coming off of a 6 day cruise so ocean view isnt too important...seems like ROCB gets better reviews than RJ....

Have you saw them both? Which would you pick?

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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4. Re: 2 days on beach

It really depends on your children's age and preferences. You mentioned that the pool is a major consideration; although the pool at ROCB is very nice, the extra features of the small water park at RJCC will be more appealing to younger children. Although I remember your previous posts, I can't recall the ages of your children, but once they get more into the teens, the more they will want location and social interaction over water sprays, and the recommendation would start to shift to ROCB.

The major disadvantage to RJCC is its location at around 9000 north (it is miles away from the Ron Jon main store at 4000 north). You also mentioned walking to restaurants, and there really aren't many close to RJCC other than the on-site restaurant. The closest restaurants are the 5-6 restaurants at the port, which are worth a visit, but a 1/4 mile walk/drive west of RJCC. However, if you have a car, that won't be a particular problem, as driving around is easy and most shops and restaurants have convenient, free parking lots. The parking at the pier and Shepard Park is an exception, as there are meters.

ROCB is more in the tourist area, and there will be more restaurants within walking distance, although the whole area is not densely developed (buildings abutting up to each other) and the tourist strip does run for several miles. For example, the pier is a couple of miles north of ROCB, and even the busy area around the Ron Jon store (not the RJCC) is a long walk, so you will occasionally want to use your car.

Both RJCC and ROCB have arcades, movies, and scheduled activities -- although that might be the last thing you'd want coming off a 6-day cruise. Take a look at the websites for each place to see if the activities at one or the other seem to be better suited to your children's interests.

Cocoa Beach can be very crowded on July weekends, as it is the beach of choice for teens and twenty-somethings from Orlando. Being more isolated, RJCC and the beaches just to the south would be quieter for a family with younger kids. Jetty Park, immediately north of RJCC, will be busier on a weekend. The area (around our condo) at 6100 north, which is close to the Discovery Beach Resort, will be less busy, with plenty of room to spread out. The area around ROCB, especially Lori Wilson Park beach, will be quite busy on weekends, which is why it is more appealing to socializing teens or families that want lots of activity around them.

You probably can't go wrong at either RJCC or ROCB -- they are both nice. I think the final choice depends mostly on your children's ages and preferences and whether you want a quieter or busier experience..

Columbus, OH
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5. Re: 2 days on beach

Thanks for all the info.....

I know my kids would LOVE Ron Jons....they are 2, 5 and 8. Are all the extras at Ron Jon included in the price? And is the pool area for guests only? Since we are coming off of a most likely crowded cruise ship the least crowded option would be what i prefer.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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6. Re: 2 days on beach

At those ages, a nice pool is a great idea, as very young children, as much as they love jumping in the waves, need more supervision when in the ocean. Having a nicer pool will give you a break and your children a special treat.

The water park at RJCC is a small one -- not in the same class with the big ones over in Orlando, but still much more than just a bigger pool. The RJCC water park is only for the use of resort guests.

There is an outdoor bar next to the water park area where you can cool off in the shade. The on-site restaurant in the main building next to the bar is convenient, and the food is adequate, but not exciting, so you may want to plan dinners somewhere else.

There is no extra charge for use of the water park, beach, movies, etc. There may be some extra charges for some special activities or need to put quarters into some of the arcade machines.

As I previously mentioned, the restaurants at the port (go west on George King Blvd from RJCC to Flounder Street, and turn north, proceeding to Glen Cheek Drive -- an area called The Cove), are nice, and you could stop by to see the ships sailing from a different perspective. Most of the restaurants have outdoor decks -- we especially like the one at Rusty's.

You can also drive down to the pier and choose from several that are built out over the ocean. Marlins is probably the best suited for families, but try to get a table by the windows so you can see the surfers.

At the Sheraton hotel on A1A, the restaurant has a large fish tank; if you can get a table right by the tank, the kids will like that. Another nice family restaurant is the Italian Courtyard, just west of the intersection of A1A and SR 520.

It is customary to go by the Ron Jon Surf Shop main store and pick out some of the famous shirts for the kids (and yourselves?). I've seen people wearing those shirts all over the world, and the main store will have a better selection than the small store at RJCC. The kids might also enjoy stopping at the Dinosaur Store just a few doors east of the Italian Courtyard restaurant.

There are plenty of other things to do with kids mentioned in the Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral forums, but two days will go fast with most time just spent relaxing around the pool. As you can probably tell, our family loves Cocoa Beach. Although it's not a luxury resort area, it's a great laid-back family area; we started coming there every year, and our kids got to know it well, so we recently purchased a vacation condo there after the recession dropped the prices. We can now get from the front door of our home in Illinois to the front door on the beach is less than four hours thanks to AirTran, and each night while there we decide whether the next day will be a beach/pool day, or Disney, Universal, Sea World, shopping, etc., as all those things are only an hour or less away. Our biggest problem is finding time in our work schedules to get down there.

Anyway, I hope that your cruise and the resort time produce some great memories for you as they have for us!

Columbus, OH
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7. Re: 2 days on beach

THanks, that is great info!

It's a hard decision...I like being in the middle of it all....but I know the resort would better please my kids...and my husband will be happy with little crowds. :)

Gotta please everyone...or at least try!

Columbus, OH
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8. Re: 2 days on beach

After booking both...and thinking about it..went with Ron Jon. We were planning on going there before...so figure nows a great time!

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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9. Re: 2 days on beach

Enjoy your trip -- Ron Jon should be nice for the kids, so let us know how they liked it. The past weekend here had wonderful beach weather, almost 90 but with a pleasant breeze, which is a nice feature of the ocean during the summer months. But yesterday was overcast in the morning and it rained for a couple of hours in the afternoon before clearing off for what looks to be another great day today. Sunday, I talked to a family who lives in Miami; they drive three hours up here once a month because they like the wider beaches and laid-back family atmosphere -- something a lot of Orlando families have also discovered. As for me, unfortunately, I need to fly back north after only a few days here.

Columbus, OH
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10. Re: 2 days on beach

Thanks! It's great that you have that option...hopefully one day we will have something on the beach somewhere!