Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Horseshoe Cove RV Resort, Bradenton FL

bradenton FL 004
bradenton FL 001The day before we finally decided to leave Pellicer Creek Campground we booked a week stay at Horseshoe Cove RV Resort in Bradenton Florida. This was a long drive of about 213 miles which we hadn’t planned to do but since we stayed an extra week at Pellicer CG we decided not to stop near Orlando. The days drive was all Interstate which is my least favorite place to drive as it is very boring and always too much traffic since I like to go about 62 mph.
We left about 10:30 am and had lunch at a rest stop where we gave the generator a bit of exercise which we know is good for it to run awhile under load. We rolled through Orlando and later through southeast Tampa without incident. By 3:30 pm we made it to our destination in Bradenton.
bradenton FL 007Here is where it got interesting…
We pulled up to the gated entrance and told the gate person we had a week reservation. She looked at her paperwork and computer saying that my reservation was not in the system. I said well you charged my credit card for the one night deposit so I should be in it. She said that it would be no problem as she could assign us a site and we could check with the office in the morning to let them know which site we were in. No problem…
She gave us a nice pull through site in an area where there were mostly motorhomes as this is a Carefree Resort which caters to the over 55 crowd and has mostly manufactured housing on the lots. Sharon got me aligned perfectly in the spot. Usually I do all the heavy lifting when we set up but due to the sutures I have from my surgery Sharon has to be the heavy lifter for us for the next several weeks.
bradenton FL 003So we got the bikes off of the car and everything set up including our patio stuff. We then made dinner and settled in for the night.  The next morning I sauntered  over to the office to let them know where we were but I was told by the office clerk that I was in the wrong site and had to move. After I protested a bit she finally took the time to look at the site I was in and then realized no one had it reserved for the duration of our stay. Great! So I asked if we could stay put.  Her answer was we could  but to stay I had to pay $5 more per night. 
bradenton FL 008Another $5.00 per night! You have to be kidding me I said after your staff made the mistake and put me in the wrong spot. Not flinching she said if I didn't want to move I would have to pay $35.00 more for our weeks stay? What a way to do business? SO I said I would like to talk with Sharon and check out the other site and get back with them.
The other site, to put it mildly, was unpleasant. So I went back to the RV and wrote an email off to Carefree’s Corporate office to ask for a $35.00 refund since I was going to pay it rather than have to move. After explaining this fiasco to Sharon, she  wanted to speak with the office person to see if she could get them to reconsider especially since it was their mistake in the first place not to mention our circumstance and inconvenience. She would not budge… Sharon got a little angry and a bit vocal with her when her manager stepped out of his office to see what the commotion was…
Suddenly it was going to be okay after all for us to stay on our site and he said that of course we shouldn’t have to pay anything additional since it was their fault. So we didn’t have to move after all… This is what should have happened in the first place but it didn’t. RANT ON Why is that in America that only the squeaky wheel gets oiled? RANT OFF
bradenton FL 009Well the manager saved me from having to write a very un-complimentary blog about this resort and their staff’s attitudes as we was very friendly, kind and understanding even if it may have been the result of Sharon’s emotional discussion with the desk person. SO with all that behind us we walked around to explore the park we are in for a week.
It is an older park with 475 sites, but most have park models on them, and has a really nice feature nearby, a 12-acre private island wooded park along the Braden River. The island has a lighted fishing pier, nature trails and a huge screened-in picnic pavilion. At the end of one trail is a neat comfy swing in a gazebo overlooking the peaceful river.
bradenton FL 005They also have some great facilities. They have four laundry rooms, three bathhouses and a dog walk for pet-owners. They also have a large recreation center with a kitchen, library, billiards and darts room, a crafts room and a gaming room. Outside they have shuffleboard, horseshoes, Pétanque (a French game similar to  bocce. They have a super nice heated swimming pool and a small but nice hot tub.The fitness room and equipment is brand new.  It looks like it would be a nice winter location and is 15 minutes from the gulf coast beaches near Cortez Florida.
Although we didn’t have the best first impression, the manager consoled us and after we walked around the park we think we will enjoy our stay here. The title of the blog before we spoke with the manager was almost certainly Carefree could Care Less… But we feel much better about it now that the unpleasantness is behind us.


  1. Even though you didn't have to move or lose $35, it was still a frustrating experience and a professional guy would have comped you a free night for having to deal with such a poor welcome. Glad you stood your ground.

  2. No fun to start your stay this way, but SO glad things smoothed out and you were able to stay in the better site. We have had our share of similar incidents. It is amazing to me how many RV parks have poor customer service.

  3. I hope the manager makes it clear to his employee that is not the way to do business. It is sad but true about the squeeky wheel. After a couple of nice tries and a firmer one, I now always just ask to speak to the supervisor. Glad it all worked out.

  4. Not sweet Sharon! I can't see her having to get "vocal" with the office reservation person. You go girl!!!

  5. We have found that the staff camp make you stay more enjoyable than the amenities.
    Had one membership park we went to years ago In Alabama and all the staff was rather rude and made for unpleasant surroundings. We swore we would never go back.
    Two years later we heard corporate had gone in and cleaned up the resort made some attitude adjustments now it is an amazing resort to visit and so much fun.

  6. I'm glad things worked out, but it's too bad you have to get "ugly" to get good customer service. We had a bad experience at a Florida State Park with a grouchy park ranger and we've never been back.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving. Glad everything worked out, but they should've "compensated" you for the stress.

  8. Glad it all worked out for you and you're spending the holiday in a nice place. Have a great Thanksgiving :-) I find the Sunshine Bridge to be an interesting marvel.

  9. It's great that there are constant progress in the retirement communities care. 55 retirement communities is a place where the seniors should feel relaxed, loved and cared for after spending the years of their youth in the productivity of the country and their families.

  10. Good you didn't back down! Why didn't the office person consult the manager anyway.

    We'll be in Holiday Cove RV Resort in Cortez for Feb/Mar.