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TLPL
09-04-2007, 09:24 PM
I am planning my February DCL sea and land trip and need some advise. I live in Niagara Falls Canada. Last time we went to WDW in February 2006 we were snow in and flight was cancelled we ended up lost one night hotel and arrived the second night (well actually the third day like @ 4am!). Since the ship won't wait for us if there is a delay again I am thinking about arriving a day early.

My first question: Should I stay at WDW for that night or by port canaveral or the airport? I just became a DVC member this year. I can just get a studio for that night.

My second question: Should I rent a car or take the Disney transfer? We will have just two people for this section of the trip. From reading this forum, sounds like renting a car one-way will be cheaper and can get to the port earlier then Disney Transfers. I like the Magic Express from the airport to the resort because I don't have to drive. But since we are going to the parks after the cruise with the whold family, we are not planing to do any park on the pre-cruise day. What are we going to do that morning?

My last question: Should I rent it from Downtown Disney or the airport if I do rent a car?

This will be my first time to do DCL and DVC I just have no idea how to make the best of my vacation time. Please help!:scared:

SnowWhite2
09-04-2007, 10:33 PM
We have cruised twice in Feb and plan to do it again in 2008. Please arrive in FL at least one day before your cruise. If you get snowed in, the boat will leave without you and you don't want to take that chance.

As for where to stay and how to transport to the port, that is a personal decision. If you want a carefree vacation and have everyone else handle the details, stay at the airport Hyatt the night before the cruise and take the DCL bus to the port. You put your luggage outside of you room at the Hyatt and the DCL folks take it to the bus and the next time you see it is on the ship. Just be careful to keep any valuables and meds with you in a carry on since you won't see your suitcases until after 3 pm. If you are going to WDW after the cruise, rent a car in Port Canaveral and return it to the airport on your way home.

Or you can rent a car at the airport, stay at WDW, Orlando area or PC area, return the car on embarkation day and take the rental car shuttle to the ship.

The port is about an hour to 1 1/4 hours from WDW and about 45 min - 1 hr from the airport. We prefer to be in PC the night before so we don't have to bother with the traffic on Highway 528. Some folks like to come in the morning of the cruise so they can see the ship as they come over the bridge.

I think there are two types of groups:
Those liking the commando style touring will want to get to the port early and rent a car to make sure they are there before 10:30.
Those liking to take things a bit less rushed want to get to the port after noon once all of the commando nuts are on board and they can walk on without a wait.

BTW - I'm in the commando group.

Billinaz
09-04-2007, 11:31 PM
+1 for the commando style.

Id much rather reserve my own flights, hotel, and transportation than leave it to someone else.

Definately get there the day before!

We rent a car (usually Avis or Budget) and take that to the hotel near the port and take the rental shuttle to the port the next day.

I dont think I could give up that control to someone else and not know way beforehand what seats and what flight we had.....

Wachsdds
09-05-2007, 03:49 AM
This February will be our 6th DCL cruise. We have now grown to a family of 6, DW, DH, DS7, DS5, DS2, and Disney Princess 3 months. We also are DVC members. I agree to get there early by a day or so. We're getting there two nights early and staying at WDW. We are going to the park the day before the cruise and will drive to the cruise or take ground transportation the morning of the cruise. You can not board until at least noon, sometimes 11am. So this gives plenty of time in the morning to get there from WDW. Have a blast on your cruise. Which cruise are you taking?:smickey: :smickey:

jamielynn
09-05-2007, 02:45 PM
I had a minor freak out last week on the same topic. My DFH2B called it wedding jitters. :bride: Being in the North East in Feb. you can have 5 feet of snow or it will be a balmy 50 degrees.

We (or should I say I strongly suggested :rotfl2: ) choose to fly out the day before and stay PC the night before. This way I can get all the wedding "stuff" together, nerves calmed down a bit and not have to be worried about being stranded at an airport the day of the cruise.

Just my 2 cents.

momof2disprincesses
09-09-2007, 12:04 AM
We to are cruising in Feb which will be our 3rd DCL. We are planning to arrive a day before the cruise because we live in Wisconsin and also have to deal with snow issues.

We will rent a car at Orlando airport stay overnight at the Beachclub. We will drive to Port Canaveral and get on the Wonder as soon as possible parking our rental car at the port. We find this to be around the same price as using Disney transportation and alot more conveiant.

This is what we did on our last cruise in Jan. and it worked out wonderful.

Goodluck on your decisions.

tinkerone
09-09-2007, 09:38 AM
fellow canadian here. from experience here is what we are planning.

-come in day early and get value room (pop) at wdw.
-rental care from airport (got a budget mid size car for less than 40) because there is a shuttle from drop off point to port. car rental at disney has no shuttle to port so that is an extra cost that we don't want.
-leave wdw for port at about 9 and after dropping off rental should be at port by 10:30 or so.

the bonus with getting the car at the airport is that we can stop at a walmart or kmart on our way to the resort and pick up a case of water, laundry soap:laundy: (we are in floriday for 2 weeks, no way around it), any snackeys we want, what ever else catches our eye.:rolleyes:
we will spend the rest of the day walking around downtown disney and take in dinner there as well, maybe take a quick swim and get to bed at a decent time.
on the way back to wdw (another week, yeaaaaa) we will take disney transportation because it leaves to get to the resort before 9 anyway and is much more convient. :thumbsup2

IndyDisneyFan
09-09-2007, 11:30 AM
We are from Indiana so we know all about snow in Feb. This coming Feb. will be our 3rd Feb. cruise in a row (we love escaping winter in Feb.!). Since we are doing the week cruise, we are a bit more casual perhaps. We have done the rental car from the airport thing, but having done it a few times we prefer the relaxing approach when we cruise. This Feb. we will be arriving two days early (I agree you need to arrive at least one day early), using Magical Express to the Beach Club probably. We will have fun in the parks (just my DH and I because this is our adult only trip!) including the morning of the cruise (we are annual passholders so we don't feel like we are wasting days on prepurchased tickets). We will catch the cruiseline bus at 11:30 a.m. and let them do the driving to the port. We enjoy climbing aboard that beautiful bus and look forward to the precruise video! We get aboard the ship around 2:00, drop our carry ons in our room, and head to lunch relaxed and ready for our trip. Then after the cruise we head to one of the Disney resorts (going back there is much quicker as the bus drivers seem to be on a mission to get rid of us and pick up the next cruisers!). We enjoy a few more days of WDW (this Feb. we actually will be spending an additional 3 days there!), then when we are ready to head back home we use the Magical Express back to the airport. No luggage or traffic hassles and we have escaped the outside world for several days, or in our case almost two weeks. I agree it is a personal choice. But for us we like to relax and enjoy our vacation stress free. Our youngest DS 11 may not agree with our approach, but when we vacation without him it is our way! Have a great time no matter what you decide!

Laura

Sue (mom of 3 boys!)
09-09-2007, 12:38 PM
Arrive at least a day early-more if possible.
Last February, we planned to fly down on Wednesday for our long anticipated Western. No way we were missing the ship, and we planned a mini UNI vacation before.
Sure enough-a huge storm was forcasted. We tried to reschedule, but the only possibility was to move up a few hours (which we did). We tried every airline that flew within 100 miles of our house, but not one had a flight that would get us to Florida. There was no availability the day before, or until the following Monday because it was MA vacation week. :eek:
To make a long story short, we were very lucky. Even though our flight was cancelled, there was a plane that couldn't get somewhere else, so they used it for our flight, which was the last one of the very few let to go before they closed down the airport.
If we did not get on a flight on Wednesday, we were prepared to rent a car 1 way to Florida and drive. Since our cruise left on Saturday, we'd cancel our UNI trip and drive the 25 hours (not fun, but at least we'd make the ship). We were very lucky. We made our UNI trip and the ship and had a fabulous vacation.
There were many people on our ship who did not make it, however. Some boarded in ST. Martin, others didn't make it at all.

The point I am trying to make is to have a back up plan. Even going a day early doesn't guarantee you get there on time.
Make sure your trip insurance covers airport delays and closures or individual flight cancellations.

Aside from that, we used a town car service to get us to Universal, then rented a car 1 way and stayed at the Residence Inn in Port Canaveral the night before the cruise. Had a great breakfast and took the shuttle to the ship the next morning, met a lot of folks in our cruise meet group and had a great time.

Just be prepared. The odds are small, but it does happen.
And yes, we are planning another cruise in February ;)

TLPL
09-09-2007, 02:37 PM
-rental care from airport (got a budget mid size car for less than 40) because there is a shuttle from drop off point to port. car rental at disney has no shuttle to port so that is an extra cost that we don't want.


Wow that's news to me. I didn't know that. So I can't rent car from the budget near downtown Disney without paying the extra cost for one way drop off at the port. How about on the way back? Do I have to pay extra for one way rental that drop off in Downtown or the airport?

tinkerone
09-09-2007, 03:33 PM
Wow that's news to me. I didn't know that. So I can't rent car from the budget near downtown Disney without paying the extra cost for one way drop off at the port. How about on the way back? Do I have to pay extra for one way rental that drop off in Downtown or the airport?

little confused here and maybe i have you confused. it is my understanding that the car rental at the disney car care is national. we have rented a car from them before but only to explore orlando for a day.
when you use the drop off location they have at cape canaveral it is my understanding they do not offer the free shuttle service to the port. what i was trying to say is that we would then have to pay the taxi fare to get to the port out of our own pockets. with the budget rental we drop it off in cape canaveral and take a free shuttle to the port. this added to the abiliaty to stop and do some last minute shopping to pick up items is well worth the 40.00. cost of us both to take the disney tranportation was almost 80.00. we come out ahead no matter how we do it.
hope this helps clarify. if not i'll try again. it really is best for us, not everyone, but for us. :thumbsup2

TLPL
09-09-2007, 09:05 PM
I read on the site that Budget has office at Doubletree near downtown Disney. I just check their site and seems like you are right after all, it is cheaper to rent a car at the airport than from DTD.

momof2disprincesses
09-19-2007, 06:45 PM
I read on the site that Budget has office at Doubletree near downtown Disney. I just check their site and seems like you are right after all, it is cheaper to rent a car at the airport than from DTD.

On our trip a few weeks ago, we took ME and then rented a car for 7 days from this Budget at Doubletree. It was WONDERFUL! They picked us up at Pop Century and then drove us to the Beach Club so we could eat at Beaches & Cream when we finished with the car. We have rented from Budget at the airport before and this was SO much easier and the customer service was excellent!

We used a code and got a weekly rate of $169 for a week for a full size car.