View Full Version : Plane arrives at 6:30am. Good plan?

03-16-2006, 11:55 PM
We'll be taking a redeye for our flight before our cruise in September, I want to schedule a towncar to take us to the port. What time would you suggest we have it pick us up at MCO? If we get to port too early, will we be standing out with our luggage in an inconvenient place? Since we haven't done this before, I'm clueless on how the port is set up, and would really appreciate your help. Thanks a bunch!

03-17-2006, 12:45 AM
We took the redeye from LAX on our recent cruise and got into MCO at 6:15 am. We decided to rent a car from Budget and drive to Port Canaveral where we turned it in. The cost for this was about $45 which was much less expensive then a towncar. Also, the kids were able to sleep while we drove to the port which is only about an hour away. Since the terminal doesn't open until 10:30 am you will have a long wait at the gate if you have transportation that just picks you up that early at MCO and then drops you off at the port. By getting our own car we were able to drive at our leisure, stop for breakfast, turn in the car and still get to the terminal about 15 minutes before it opened. We were among the first to check in and we boarded the ship with the first boarding groups at 11:45 am. It worked out really well for us.

03-17-2006, 06:26 AM
Just something to think about. My husband and I took a cruise last year and almost missed our boat because we took a flight arriving the morning of the cruise. When we got to the airport, our flight had been cancelled and the airline had no other flights to get us to Miami before 5pm. We finally went over to Independence Air and found a flight to get us there. It ended up costing us $600 more. We arrived just before the boat was scheduled to leave. What was worse than the cost was the stress it caused. I was in tears because we had planned this trip for years. I had not thought about the possiblity of not getting there, since our plane was scheduled to arrive so early that morning. Needless to say, I will always fly in the day before and spend the night in a hotel to be sure I will be able to board the boat without worrying about missing the whole trip.

03-17-2006, 06:28 AM
Yeah, I would recommend either renting a car or hand out at MCO, have breakfast, & then have the Towncar pick you up around 9:30, getting you to the port by 10:30.

mom x4,grandma x4
03-17-2006, 08:19 AM
Please arrive the night before, to insure you wont miss the ship. I have read of many people this has happened to because of late flights or getting bumped from their fligths at the last minute. I know it costs a few dollars to spend the night at a hotel, but it is well worth it compared to missing your cruise altogether. Also remember September is hurricane season, which can cause lots of delays at airports. I live in central florida and the past 2 years the airport was completely closed once, and even when the other storms came through and it wasnt closed it was delaying flights in and out for hours!! It is like a terrible chain reaction at the airports. The storm could be clear down across the keys, but it will effect the flights here.
So be safe and come in a day early. There is a hotel right at the airport or there are several at cocoa beach. some have free shuttles to and from the ships too. Make your reservations soon, as these places fill up on friday and saturday nights fast with cruisers as well as beach goers.
mom x4,grandma x4

03-17-2006, 11:39 PM
I agree about flying the night before. Just recently, I had an overnight flight to my vacation destination. Well, the plane had a flat tire and could not leave. We were all rebooked on other flights and I would have not been able to leave until 1pm the next day. This is the first time this has ever happened to me, but it DOES happen!

03-17-2006, 11:56 PM
You don't say where you're coming from, but if it's from the west keep in mind that there's a 3 hour time difference which is HUGE to adjust to (coming from west to east). On our last cruise we came from AZ the day before, arrived around 8:30 p.m. and stayed at a hotel near the airport. Because we were on AZ time, even at midnight FL time we really weren't that tired (9 p.m. to us). But we had to get up at 7 a.m. FL time the next morning which was 4 a.m. to us! My 6 year old nephew was very cranky and frankly, so were we (3 adults, all sisters). One sister slept through the sail-away party and my nephew fell asleep at dinner the first night. I stayed awake but had a headache all day.

This year we're flying in on Thurs. and staying 2 nights in Cocoa Beach to give ourselves a chance to adjust to the time change before boarding. I don't want to lose any time on the ship to jet lag!

Just another thing to think about along with what others have said about the possibility of flight problems (which I have also had--I missed the first 2 days of a diving trip to Bonaire because of thunderstorms and delayed connections resulting in missing the plane to Bonaire from Miami). I learned a lesson from that and always give myself an extra day going east.

03-18-2006, 02:19 AM
Some great advice. Be sure to be rested when you get on board the ship. We had just come from six days at WDW and had stayed up till midnight the night before for Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom. We were tired, cranky and rushed to get to the port the next morning for our three night Wonder cruise and we arrived an hour later than I wanted, this ended up not being that big of a deal. Adrenaline kept me going that day, but we couldn't even get off the ship in Nassau , the thought was too tiring and I ended up having to go back to the stateroom for a nap I felt so ill with exhaustion. By that night we were better and our Castaway Cay day was heaven. Please take your time, take that extra day and be ready to enjoy the expensive trip you have saved and paid for. :sunny:

03-18-2006, 03:59 AM
I live in L.A. and I would just get a room at Disney World for one night and buy the transfers form DCl. I did this for the 14 day westbound panama canal cruise and it was heaven. the only draw back was I had to have my bags in front of my room for bell services by 8 A.M. to be sent to the ship. I will be on the 11 night southern cruise and I plan on doing the same thing or even ariveing a few days eariler. I just let Disney take care of things for me and it works out great.

03-18-2006, 07:20 AM
I agre with flying in the day before...much less stressful that wondering if something will go wrong and you will miss the ship by flying in the same day.

03-18-2006, 09:10 AM
Been there, flight delays, circling Miami, lost luggage, was the last people running to the ship! Not cool!
We would have had plenty of time had things all went as scheduled. Things happen right?
Lesson Learned- always arrive a day early. :teeth:

03-18-2006, 11:38 AM
Things can happen as everyone has pointed out, but with that in mind I have to say that taking the redeye from LAX worked out fine for us. We did get some sleep on the plane and the kids slept in the car on the way to the port, so while we were a little tired we most certainly were not exhausted. It actually helped us make a quick switch to east coast time. After we watched the Welcome Aboard show we were tired and ready for bed at 9:30 pm. We woke up feeling great the next morning! While there is always a risk of flight delays, we were getting in quite early in the morning and the deadline for boarding is 4 p.m., so we actually had a pretty big window between our arrival and the ship's departure. I understand it is not a comfortable choice for everyone, but it does work well for some people.

03-18-2006, 11:52 AM
thanks, everyone, for your replies! thankfully, it will just be DH and I, taking the redeye from L.A. While I know the weather can be iffy, I'm going to try not to worry about it. Leaving the kids behind, it's hard to make the trip any longer, just to get there early. I'm sure everything will be great...if not, I guess that's why I bought trip insurance. :goodvibes I like that I have 5 hours to sleep from L.A. to Orlando, so should get some sleep. We'll be tired the first night, but then switch over okay. We actually did that in October for WDW, and it worked well. I appreciate all of your tips!

03-19-2006, 02:36 PM
Oh goodness now I am worried about our plans. We did buy trip insurance and they told us if we miss the boat they will fly us to the next port to board - which would be Key West. So while now I am nervous about our April 22 cruise at least there is a back up plan I guess.

This is our first cruise and we get to the MCO at noon - straight flight so hopefully all will be ok.