View Full Version : Booking Airfare

02-13-2009, 07:14 AM
Last year we booked airfare through Disney. It was a terrible experience, based on the airlines no Disney. We had a connecting flight into Atlantaa. The first flight almost didn't got off the ground because it didn't pass an inspection. It finally passed after about 45 minutes. So we were late for our next flight. We did finally make it to the ship with only 1 hour to spare. But we felt so rushed. Our return flight wasn't much better but at least that was coming home. We really didn't care by then.

So we are looking at booking for the same week this year but I would like to leave the day before stay at a hotel in Port Canaveral, not have to rush so much.

So should we book through Disney? Or can you get a better deal on your own? He would or did you book you transfer......

02-13-2009, 07:21 AM
We book our own airfare, for MANY of the reasons you wrote about. The flexibility, the peace of mind of arriving on time, and a day early. :thumbsup2

Our first cruise, before we discovered the DIS, we used DCL transportation. We quickly learned how easy it was to rent a car, not to mention convenient for picking up last minute things, eating, and cheaper. We use a code from mousesavers, and pick it up at MCO, head to our hotel, and my husband drops myself and the kids at the port the day we cruise, and hops on the rent a car shuttle, and meets back up with us before it is time to get on board. We do this in reverse at the end of the cruise.

I would refer you to check out the FAQ (top of this page), there is lots of information on hotels, rent a cars, other options, and many useful tidbits of information.

02-13-2009, 07:29 AM
We always, always, have found better deals on our own and can easily choose our own flight times and make sure they are non-stop flights. Southwest and Airtran both offer incredibly reasonable fares from Philly (not sure if they're in your area.)

We also have found it so much less stressful to fly down the day before. We stay at the Hyatt MCO but plenty of people can tell you about hotels near the port as many stay there too.
You wake up well rested and ready to head to the port by 9 or 10 rather than waking up at 3 am and dealing with so much stress. Not a good way to start a cruise.

Last cruise over Thanksgiving, we found a $59 fare for earlier in the day Friday so to kill some time we rented a car for a few hours and visited the ICE! show at the Gaylord Palms Hotel. It was fascinating but quick enough that we had plenty of time for dinner and to return the car.

Now that my ds is in middle school, I really don't want him to miss more school so it's even more important to me to choose our flight times. I'd like him to get a full day of school done on Fri and then fly Fri evening.

Everyone has different needs so why leave your schedule in the hands of someone else who has no idea what your particular needs are?

We learn something new every trip.:goodvibes

02-13-2009, 09:14 AM
Book on your own.....!!!

02-13-2009, 09:46 AM
What time do the cruises come in if we schedule our own? I have no idea what time we should be at the airport to go home.

02-13-2009, 10:03 AM
What time do the cruises come in if we schedule our own? I have no idea what time we should be at the airport to go home.

If you are going directly to MCO from the port, keep in mind everyone must be off the ship by no later than 9 am. It's approx 1 hr. ride to MCO, and allowing a bit extra I wouldn't make a flight earlier than 11:30 am. DCL recommends nothing before noon but they like to be extra conservative.

For our last cruise, even going home the Sat. after Thanksgiving, we left the port at 9 on the DCL bus and still had time to eat a quick lunch at the gate prior to our 11:45am flight. I expected the airport to be a zoo and it wasn't bad at all.

Another tip: DCL offers Onboard Check-in where they print your airline boarding passes the day before you fly home and deliver them to your stateroom. Once you put your luggage outside your door the night before debarkation, you don't see them until you reach your home airport. This really saves a lot of time not having to wait in line to check bags at MCO, allowing us to go directly to security. You must purchase DCL bus transfer from PC to MCO to get this service but there is no addl charge for it.
Also only certain airlines participate with this, sadly for us SWA isn't one of them, so be sure to check it out if you haven't already booked airfare.

hth, have a great cruise!!!:goodvibes

02-13-2009, 10:13 AM

We book our recent flight thru Disney for several reasons. Their costs were considerably cheaper than ANY flights I could find on my own thru either travel agents or web fares. They also provided transportaion that I did not have to worry about from port to airport and it was all one nice package.

We flew Air Canada and have great flights there and back, the only snag with this whole trip was coming home we were tight on our connection thru Toronto. Once family we know missed their connection.

With the onboard booking that is a great option for contential US but does not work for Canadian Residents :(

Overal our all-in-one package with Disney was a resounding success.

cheers :cool1:

02-13-2009, 11:02 AM
I would definitely look for flights on my own (especially if you are in the states). I prefer to fly down the day before. You can stay at the airport, stay close to the port or even stay on property. I've stayed at the POP before and enjoyed getting a bit of Disney feeling before boarding. Last time we went, we took a tip from the DISboards and rented a car. I came in Friday afternoon, picked up the car at MCO, drove to CR (my future DIL gets a CM discount so we snagged this for the one night), attended the MNSSHP that night, got up the next AM, drove to the rental agency by the port, turned in the car and took the shuttle to the ship. We all went to the agency to drop off the car as it was the first trip for two people in my group and I definitely wanted to be there for their reactions when they entered the terminal, saw the ship up close for the first time, etc. When we returned, we just reversed and took the shuttle to the agency (FYI - we used Budget and I used a COSTCO discount code), drove to MCO and dropped off the car. The whole rental thing was very easy, convenient and less expensive than 4 DCL transfers (plus DCL transfers don't leave the resorts until close to Noon - although if you're staying at the airport they leave alot sooner).

02-13-2009, 03:13 PM
OK, I see that most of the posts have to do with booking airfare in US only. How about booking our own airfare on TA cruise? (WBTA Sep '10). DCL said we could not only book LAX to Barcelona that we had to include MCO to LAX. We are meeting family in Florida when we get there and will be spending some time there.

02-13-2009, 03:29 PM
OK, I see that most of the posts have to do with booking airfare in US only. How about booking our own airfare on TA cruise? (WBTA Sep '10). DCL said we could not only book LAX to Barcelona that we had to include MCO to LAX. We are meeting family in Florida when we get there and will be spending some time there.

If you wanted to fly home from Florida on a day other the day DCL air wants to schedule you than you have to ask for "Custom Air" or an "Air Deviation" (not sure what they are calling it these days) but essentially you pay extra to have DCL book you on a flight of your choice, on a day of your choice. You should price it both ways closer to sail date.

We are on the WB TA and I think I am going to do my own air as I plan on flying into Barcelona a few days early if possible and maybe stay a day or two in Florida when we get back....I think I may be better off booking on my own but I will see when the time is closer.



02-13-2009, 05:08 PM
We always book our own, usually much cheaper. Just booked on Airtran for August for my Stepson and wife $79 each way from Pittsburgh to Orlando.

Anal Annie
02-13-2009, 06:28 PM
We prefer to have control of our own flights / times so we book ourselves. You can book it thru DCL if you want when you make your ressie then shop on your own when your date gets closer. That's what we did on our first cruise. You can cancel the "cruise air" all the way up until your final balance is due so there's no harm in doing it. When you make your ressie with DCL just ask how much you're paying pp for the air so you have a price to compare. But you'll most likely find a better deal on your own. Our first DCL was on the Mexican Riviera cruises back in '05. I had them add the airfare in when we booked and they honest to Pete were charging something like $700 pp!!:scared1: I ended up finding flights on my own for $210 pp!!! We saved somewhere between $1,400 & $1,500 by booking it ourselves!!!!!!!!!! That is real money.

I always set up fare alerts on kayak.com and just watch the way they swing (you can get emails daily or weekly and just renew the alerts every 3 weeks until you find the right deal).

For your return flight I will say to definitely book a flight for after 12:00. Last summer we got held up for some reason in the gangway area (we had late dinner seating and therefore the later breakfast time). There was some sort of problem with Customs down in the terminal. There was never any explanation, just this long delay with everybody standing in there like a cattle car and nobody getting thru. It was almost 9:00 before they started letting people off / thru. Our bus back to MCO departed around 9:20 or so...there was an accident on the interstate we had to detour around...the first drop they did at the airport was around 10:35. If anybody had an 11:00 flight they'd have missed it. The security line wasn't TOO bad that time but we HAVE been in line at MCO on previous trips for as much as an hour. It's a busy airport so you never know. Just my 2 cents on that one.

02-14-2009, 09:34 PM
So if we book our own ressies to Barcelona how do we get to the ship? Will we still be able to use DCL for transfers?


02-15-2009, 03:35 PM
I have only booked air with Disney one time and that was one time tooooo many. Our flight didn't leave Dallas until 9. Okay a 12:30 arrival in Orlando seemed way too rushed for me. We circled Tampa for an hour due to bad weater and finally got on a bus to the ship around 2. We had not time to get anything to eat just run for the bus. Got onboard with 10 minutes to get food before everything shut down for safefy drill. Way too rushed, I don't have to go the night before but definately on an early flight. If we had had a connection we would have missed the cruise.

02-15-2009, 03:39 PM
So if we book our own ressies to Barcelona how do we get to the ship? Will we still be able to use DCL for transfers?


Yes, if you stay at a hotel in Barcelona where DCL is picking up from. Not sure how much it would cost you....you would have to call DCL and ask which hotels they are using for their pre nights and then ask how much just transfers would be.

If you stay at any other hotels you would have to take a taxi to get to the port.