After a fun-filled day at Portaventura we were very excited at the prospect of the water park - unfortunately our excitement was unfulfilled.
Although the slides are fun, there are not enough of them and there are queues of about twenty minutes to get on them. The best slides are the ones in the indoor zone, which are very intense!
My main gripe with the park is the food, which is expensive and really unpleasant, but we had this problem in the theme park as well so we were not surprised and luckily most of us had taken along a packed lunch (which I would really recommend to anyone considering a visit to either of the parks)
We also had a problem with the level of customer service in the park. One of party trod on a bee and had a bad reaction, when we went to find the medical staff we were told that we had to take our friend to them as they would not go and help her!! We had to carry her to the medical area ourselves. The staff were also reluctant to give us our deposits back for the changing room locker keys - we had to be insistant or they will try to get away with keeping your three euro.
Overall, I would say - give it a miss! If you go to the theme park, make sure that you keep the ticket as it gives you 50% off the aqua park, and if you do go, take a packed lunch!!!
Whenever I go on holiday every year I always make sure I got to a local water park, so this year when I visited Salou it was no different.
The Caribe Aquatic Park is a water park that was built on to the famous PortAventura theme park and hotel complex. PortAventura is of a similar layout to our Alton Towers but in my opinion nowhere near as good.
On the fourth day of our week my friend and I decided to pop on the local bus and sample the water park for ourselves and this is what we found.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Port Aventura complex is about 10 minutes away from Reus airport and about an 45 minute walk from the surrounding towns I.E Salou, Cambrils, Reus.
If you are like us you probably won fancy walking so I suggest either booking a trip through your holiday rep which will include your entrance fee and coach transfer. Alternatively if you are travelling independently or just like to book your own trips like us then the easiest thing to do is get down to the bus stop on the days you want to go and there will be English speaking guides to help you if not the buses have Port Aventura on their sides and from the surrounding towns it takes around a 15 min bus ride for about 2 each way.
If you are travelling from further a field or have a hire car then you can get to Port Aventura directly on the AP7 for other routes AA route finder now advise on European routes.
Peak Season 13/05 to 01/10
Junior (4 to 10) and Seniors (60+) 15.50
Children (0-3) free
Low Season 24/03 to 12/05 and 02/10 to 07/01
Junior (4 to 10) and Seniors (60+) 8
If you prefer to visit the Theme Park and Water Park you can buy a 3 day pass so you dont miss out on anything and that costs 65 per adult and 52 per child.
When you are dropped off at the entrance you sort of go with the flow not knowing where you are going but then once you get to the main area there is the entrance for the Theme park on the left and the water park on the right.
Once you go through you just slip through the turnstile and your in if you have already purchased your ticket from your hotel which is the done thing. If you havent there is a kiosk just before the entrance, which wasnt being used by too many so even if you havent got your tickets you wont have a long wait to get them.
As you are through you through the entrance you are met with 2 for hire desks where you can hire giant rings, life jackets, lockers and towels. The towels were about 4 to hire the lockers were 2 and the giant rings and life jackets were 8 to hire and when you returned them you would receive 6 back so it would end up costing you 2.
We were a little puzzled as to why you would hire one of these huge rings and lug it round with you for some little kid to come and pinch it later so you lose your money. A few people were renting these so we were a little concerned that we might not be able to go on the slides because we hadnt hired a ring.
Later we found it is really not necessary to hire a ring it just means you have to wait for people to finish with the communal ones before you could have a go on the slide which doesnt take long at all as people have to give them to you when it is busy they cant keep using them or take them away from the rides.
Once we had got over the initial confusion we decided to grab a sunbed and have a look around. The sunbed were 4s for the day and you could move around where ever you wished as long as you kept hold of your receipt. If you prefer not to pay but need a sit down you are free to use the deck chairs dotted around which look really seaside like.
Our sunloungers were right near the changing rooms so if you hadnt already got your bikini on you could go to the changing rooms and put it on or change at the end of the day.
We also noticed that there were payphones and cash machines if you needed them close to the entrance of the park.
THE SLIDES AND ATTRACTIONS
When I first saw these slides and went on them all I was quite excited and thought wow these are really good but one you have been on them all that is it day over and it only takes about 1 hours to do everything and this is in the middle of July.
Let me tell you a little more about the slides and why they were so fun.
·Barracudas This was my absolute favourite ride it was really good fun. There was two slides both equally the same as we just had to try them both out. You grabbed a double ring from the bottom of the slide & climb some long stairs to the top where you slide down the long slides getting thrown around & slopped up both sides of the slide. This is a real fun ride.
·El Rio Loco This is the sort of ride that looks fun but really isnt & can be quite boring & cold if the sun has gone in. You have to wait on this ride for people to forfeit their rings, as this is the only ride they can hang on to them. Once you have rescued one then you hop on & let the water slowly take your ring around in a circuit that has a few water showers & hoses so some people who get n the wrong places get soaked.
·El Tifon This is two slides that twist and turn. You go on one while your friend goes on the other and you should come out at the bottom together. These were just plain slides no frills or rings. The only thing I didnt like about these was that they were partly in the dark and I dont like that because it makes me scared and claustrophobic so I just kept my eyes shut!
·El Torrente This was probably my best ride it was really good fun 5 people go down in a big bottomed ring more like one you get on the water rapid rides at theme parks. It goes really high up each side sometimes that high you think the person opposite you is going to fall on top of you.
·El Triangulo de las Bermudas This is the main pool area which is really good fun. The side you get in is very shallow almost like seawater been washed on to the beach & then it gets deeper & deeper. The deepest area is about 5ft. This pool isnt the easiest pool for a swim in though it has a high-powered wave machine & when I say high-powered I mean that. I swam right to the deep end & burst out laughing big mistake! I was pulled under & water went everywhere to the extent that I was nearly sick I felt very poorly but the lifeguard thought it was highly amusing.
·La Laguna de Woody This area is for the little children it looked very exciting but unfortunately for obvious reasons I didnt get to test. The attraction was made up of a large climbing frame in a very shallow (paddling pool type) pool with lots of slides on it & water coming out of holes & cannons.
The best thing to do is to relax and sunbathe for a bit have some lunch relax some more and then do everything again just to get your monies worth.
SHOPS AND OTHER FACITLITIES
If you are bored (which could happen) or you like looking in shops there are two at the Caribe.
~ Costa Caribe Shop~
Here they sell over priced, suntan lotions, cameras, quicksilver clothing and they also offer photo processing.
~Laguna de Woody souvenirs~
Here they sell souvenirs, suntan lotion and flotation aids. Nothing really exciting.
As well as the outdoor slides and attractions there is an indoor area which you can pay for solely and just spend your day in there but please do not waste your money. It is called the Juegos de agua and is about the size of a quarter of a football pitch. It smells like your local swimming pool and a large aeroplane hanging from the ceiling, which is shown, in most of the Caribe adverts. When you get inside you are really disappointed. When we were there no one was even in there, The whole area consists of a shallow swimming pool with a large slide that entwines with another called the mambo and limbo it is quite a rickety slide and if you lie right you can go quite fast but certainly not the best slide there.
There is then climbing frame for little children and 2 small slides called the caribe climbing, which end up in a ball pool. Not exciting at all and definitely not something you should think about doing.
If water parks arent your thing but you are being forced to go with your family then there is volleyball net if you fancy a game but if you fancy a little more relaxation you should make your way to the Bahama beach. This is not somewhere I visited as I only went for the slides but have heard it is very nice.
There seems to be lots of different places to eat but you soon find out this isnt really the case there is a selection of cafes but they all sell the same thing. Ok if you enjoy big Frankfurt hotdogs but not so great if you fancy something a little different.
I understand everything is fast food but a little more variety wouldnt have gone a miss.
There was the
·Beach Bar Which sold beer, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages.
·Iguana Snacks Which sold hot dogs
·La Cabana More hotdogs and sandwiches
·La Langosta Which sold hamburgers and chips
·Snack Bar Here you could buy more drinks and a lolly pop
·Reggae Café Here you can buy roast chicken, Jamaican rice, BBQ wings and BBQ chicken (sounds good but comes in very small portions and is very expensive)
Then there is the below. I cant say I actually found these places, how I do not know as the whole park is about the size of a postage stamp. I found these places on the leaflet I got from my hotel.
·Vudu Chicken Apparently sell crunchy chicken
·Pirata Pizza This is a so called self service pizza, pasta and salad restaurant.
Too be honest they dont sound any better and even if we had found them I doubt it would have changed out minds.
In the end I settled for some onion rings and fresh salad with coke for around 7. From the La Cabana. The onion rings were quite nice but the salad wasnt the best I had ever had there was a piece of lettuce and a tomato in a plastic bowl. Yum Yum.
STAFF AND CLEANLINESS
Past experiences have always told me never use the toilets in water parks, as they are always wet and smelly but the toilets here were quite pleasant. They were very dark but well maintained and didnt smell too bad.
The staff were all very good there were lifeguards at the top of every slide and one at the bottom as well to make sure you get off ok.
The staff spoke very good English and were happy to assist if you had any questions.
Whilst sitting on our sun loungers we had the joy of seeing a little girl sick on her way out of the pool her mum managed to catch most of it but not all. The worst part of it was that we saw about 10 people walk through it afterwards. However 5 minutes later thankfully one of the staff spotted it, covered it with sand and cleaned it all away. It was very efficient and well handled, but yes whilst she was trying to clean it up people were still ignoring the sick and still walking through it!!
Too be honest I dont know if my expectations are getting higher but from a modern water park I expect something pretty spectacular and The caribe Aquatic park wasnt this. I was expecting big slides, amazing shows, huge pools and a range of restaurants.
I thought the amount of water rides was pretty poor and I was very bored being there a whole day and think they should revise their entrance fees and offer a half day entrance as that is really all you need.
If you have young children then I would recommend this park, as there is a large area for children and is quite enclosed so you dont have to be shouting them all the time and most of the rides are child friendly anyway.
I would not recommend this water park to anyone that has walking difficulties as all the rides either have a steep slope to them or a lot of stairs.
One good thing about this park I must not forget to say is that all the water is not fresh water it is normal swimming pool water Phew!!
Just in case you were wondering the price in sterling here is a quick conversion £1 = 1.43 at the present moment.