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View Full Version : 6:30 a.m. flight vs. the afternoon before...


disneyfool_1202
02-12-2010, 09:31 AM
Our DCL vaca isn't until May 2011 but we're already trying to decide on the 'getting there' plan. DH wants to take the first flight out of Boston (MA) at 6:30 a.m. which would put is at Orlando Intn'l about 9:45 a.m. We'd end up at there terminal somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 - 11:30. Good plan- other than we have to be out the door of our home about 4am to get to the transportation service at 4:15 - take the 4:30 bus which gets us to Logan at 5:30 (ish) for a 6:30 a.m. flight. And that's if everything sails smoothly..... If it were just us adults, no problem, but we have 2 kids- who will be ages 7 & 5 at cruisetime, and I can just imagine how horribly tired they will be by the time dinner rolls around!!!! I think it's just too long a day.

I am investigating heading to FL the night before- which means a hotel room near the cruiseline that offers a shuttle. So now we are talking increased $$ for an afternoon flight, an additional transfer fee, and the cost of 2 hotel rooms (my MIL is coming with us and I can't find a hotel room for 3 adults, 2 kids...). So we're adding probably $600 (at least) between the flight (additional $60 per person), additional shuttle fee, and hotel night.

Any suggestions / thoughts? I've done DCL cruises many times and usually flown out of Boston about 7:30 - but that flight time is not currently an option. The later flight puts us at risk for delay and if things go smoothly, we'd get to the terminal around 2:30 - 3:00.... HUGE difference than 11am.

kcashner
02-12-2010, 09:38 AM
What we do....
I try for a flight that leaves after school/work on Friday night before a Sat. cruise. I get a hotel room on Priceline. At the 2.5* level all of the hotels include complimentary shuttle to/from MCO AND complimentary breakfast. Obviously, you'd need 2 rooms (which you can do). I don't care where we stay other than in the MCO area....the brand doesn't matter to me. Our recent stays have been the Hyatt Place and the Amerisuites--both lovely hotels within 5 minutes of MCO. I typically bid between $31 and $39 for the room, add under $10 for taxes and fees and you are still under $50 for the night + shuttle + breakfast. Not bad. SO...you'd spend $100 on the hotel + $300 extra on the flights. A little less than your plan.

You've preserved all options for going to the port area--in the morning you can take the free shuttle back to MCO, have your towncar driver pick you up at the hotel, or use your rental car. Again, renting a mini van has cost me $46-$92 with all taxes and fees (add tolls and gas). Again much cheaper than other transportation methods. If you drive in Boston, the drive to the port will be "nothing."

Is Southwest airlines a possibility? You'd eliminate luggage fees that way.

I feel that if I'm in Orlando, then by hook or crook I'll be on that ship!

We've done the "day of" flights--it's just not worth the risk and aggravation.

TheWog
02-12-2010, 09:51 AM
I would go the night before. You could stay at the MCO Hyatt and still take the DCL bus the next day. They will also arrange for your luggage to be brought to DCL as well. Might cost a bit, but worth the stress free trip imo.

moochpuppy
02-12-2010, 09:52 AM
We always arrive the night before the cruise. With the way flights/airlines are these days I would not put getting on the cruise in jeopardy. Also that makes for an extremely long day for kids that age.

We always stay at the Radisson at the port. The room rate is cheaper than parking at the terminal for a 7-nighter. They offer free shuttle and allow you to leave your car at the resort for the duration of your cruise.

wcw57
02-12-2010, 10:12 AM
snow problems are moot in May (your travel date) BUT

there are always wind delays, heavy storms elsewhere which put connecting flights all out of skew, strikes, etc

and lets not forget the ever-popular security breach which can shut down a terminal for HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I advise leaving for FL a day early.:thumbsup2

we will be traveling in FEB from NY and any type of snow can upset us...even a day in advance might not be safe.......

Anjelica
02-12-2010, 10:16 AM
I also agree with others who suggest arriving at least the day/night before. Staying near the port at one of the hotels, the Hyatt at MCO or even a DW hotel. This allows you and your family a little breathing room if for some reason there are delays with your departure.

Anjelica
02-12-2010, 10:17 AM
I feel that if I'm in Orlando, then by hook or crook I'll be on that ship!

Now where is that Tag Fairy....:lmao:

disneyfool_1202
02-12-2010, 10:43 AM
I'm agreeing with everyone BIG TIME - especially with the kids. I can just imagine how horrible it will be with overtired kids.

I like the idea of staying at the airport then hopping the shuttle back to the airport and taking the DCL transportation the morning of the cruise. No rushing around like a maniac.

It's the $$ that will make or break it with my husband - we really don't have extra $ flying around. BUT it is over a year away.

I've never used priceline but they seem to have the best rates - can someone explain it to me and let me know how well it works. Is it a guaranteed rate once you book with them?? I'm not used to the whole "bidding" thing- it sounds very risky.

LMCmom25kids
02-12-2010, 11:00 AM
I'm agreeing with everyone BIG TIME - especially with the kids. I can just imagine how horrible it will be with overtired kids.

I like the idea of staying at the airport then hopping the shuttle back to the airport and taking the DCL transportation the morning of the cruise. No rushing around like a maniac.

It's the $$ that will make or break it with my husband - we really don't have extra $ flying around. BUT it is over a year away.

I've never used priceline but they seem to have the best rates - can someone explain it to me and let me know how well it works. Is it a guaranteed rate once you book with them?? I'm not used to the whole "bidding" thing- it sounds very risky.

I would also love more info on Priceline. Anyone? I checked into using them for a flight once, but I think I could not really choose my flight time. Didn't like that at all. That was a deal breaker for me. Hotel searching might be different though. Wish I would have tried it for the two rooms we booked at the Raddison at the Port the night before our April cruise. Oh well, too late now. Paid in full. Bummer!

Yes..... go the day before your cruise. (We thought of it as a way to extend an already too short 3 nt cruise) We are planning on enjoying the pool at the hotel, going to dinner etc. Then we have the advantage of getting to the terminal early.

kcashner
02-12-2010, 11:17 AM
There are a couple of sites that help with lots of info on priceline bidding, but we're probably not allowed to list them here due to the links they contain. They contain info on what other people have gotten as successful bids--what they paid, the hotels they got, etc. I was afraid to do it the first few times, but after several good experiences, I don't hesitate.

How it works--use the "name your own price" section for the bidding. THe other section has really inflated prices.

Go to priceline.com and put in the date/s you need and the city. It will show you the various areas of the city that you can choose from. If you want to stay near the airport, that would be the MCO area in Orlando. OK, I know that I want at least a 2.5* hotel because at that level they all have complimentary shuttles and complimentary breakfast. At 3.0, many don't have breakfast, but I could live with that. At 2* in MCO area, there are some nasty hotels that I know I don't want. SO, I enter the 2.5* level knowing that is the lowest they can give me (but they could give me a higher level). I start bidding at $31 (because I haven't been successful lower than that). Enter your info, credit card, and press the bid button. In a minute you will either get the name of your hotel, a "we can't accept this bid" or a message about "if you will increase your bid by X amount...." IGNORE the X amount message--it is always way more than I've eventually gotten a successful bid. You'll also have the option of changing some parameters of your bid--area, etc. I rarely get into this (yes, I know about using it for "free" rebids), but I start far enough ahead that I have enough time to re-bid later.

You can place one bid every 24 hours. If I'm unsuccessful at $31, I'll bid $33 the next day. The least I've ever paid for an MCO hotel is $31, the most was $39. Taxes and fees are added to your bid amount...this is less than $10 per night. The taxes are based on the local hotel taxes on your bid amount. The priceline fees are their profit. SO...if I get a successful bid of $35, I'll pay somewhere around $43-44. THe downside--your credit card is charged when you have a successful bid. NO cancellations--you don't show up, you don't get a refund.

Another way to get an idea of what to bid is to go to hotwire and see what they are selling hotels for--this tells you the highest you should go on Priceline. However, I find that I get better hotels cheaper thru Priceline. Our recent MCO stays have been at the Hyatt Place and the Amerisuites. We've never gotten a bad place at MCO area.

Other examples...I attend a conference each year. Since I have a car, I get a priceline hotel for 1/3 to 1/2 of the conference hotel. Last year I was "upgraded" to the 3* conference hotel....but I paid $38 while the conference "special" rate was $89!

TheWog
02-12-2010, 01:18 PM
I'm agreeing with everyone BIG TIME - especially with the kids. I can just imagine how horrible it will be with overtired kids.

I like the idea of staying at the airport then hopping the shuttle back to the airport and taking the DCL transportation the morning of the cruise. No rushing around like a maniac.

It's the $$ that will make or break it with my husband - we really don't have extra $ flying around. BUT it is over a year away.

I've never used priceline but they seem to have the best rates - can someone explain it to me and let me know how well it works. Is it a guaranteed rate once you book with them?? I'm not used to the whole "bidding" thing- it sounds very risky.

www.betterbidding.com and www.biddingfortravel.com are two great sites to get you started on priceline. They provide you with information, previous successful bids and strategies to determine (potentially) what hotel you will get and how you should bid and how much. They Hyatt is located right in the airport. It has a pool as well. You grab your bags go up the elevator and then check right in. No shuttles involved. If you can swing it this is a great way to go. They will also take your bags for you during the evening and you won't see them again until they get to your stateroom on the ship. Hyatt also offers discounted stay certificates for certain hotels, they accept AAA discounts and may or may not be PL when you are staying. For ease it is the best, costwise it will cost a bit more than a PL airport area hotel. Your call on that.

TraciM
02-12-2010, 01:26 PM
We always fly in the afternoon before our cruise. I am not willing to chance anything happening the day of. We rent a car and stay at the Holiday Inn Express at the port(free breakfast and shuttle we rent a car so I am unsure of shuttle details). Sounds complicated but it is pretty easy. I just include the hotel and car rental as part of my vacation budget.

Cheryl726
02-12-2010, 01:42 PM
Both our DCL cruises we flew in the morning of, one of the trips was with the kids who were 5 and 8 and it was a long day. They were tired early and we were up early the next day. We never had any problems, got there on time, but I don't want to push our luck anymore, we'll fly in the day before from now on!

glindamood
02-12-2010, 02:22 PM
I am another vote for the day before. I travel for work and the ONLY delay I ever had was a thunderstorm - we sat in the plane for well over two hours and then had to wait in line to take off. Not fun and I would not want to start my vacation that way as I would have had a panic attack. Even leaving on the last flight out and getting in late allows everyone to sleep in the following morning and travel rested and enjoy that first day on the ship.

disneyfool_1202
02-12-2010, 02:44 PM
You all have me convinced and now I just need to convince my husband!! They don't release the flights times / prices for May 2011 until mid July this year so I have a few months to work on him!!

I really want to get there about supper time, have dinner, chill out and start the next morning relaxed and refreshed. The only thing that would stink is having to check our luggage ourselves for the cruise- does anyone remember if that's done at the transportation desk at MCO or if it's just stored under the bus and we check it at the terminal?

tvguy
02-12-2010, 03:19 PM
snow problems are moot in May (your travel date) ......

Since all the debate over global warming came up, it sure seems that NO month is assured of no snow.
The last 6 global WARMING hearings have be SNOWED OUT! :rolleyes1

MinnesotaMouseketeers
02-12-2010, 03:59 PM
We always fly in the night before. We have experienced personally and picking people up from airports where flights have been delayed by HOURS. I wouldn't risk arriving late and possibly missing the ship.

mickeyfan1
02-12-2010, 04:09 PM
Have you looked at any of the Suites? I am booked at on of the La Quinta's close to the airport. You can get a suite that has 2 queens in the bed room and a pull out in the LR, you, dh and kids take the BR, MIL gets the pull out.

They have a free shuttle from and to MCO, so I will take that the evening I get in and in the morning take it back to MCO to get on the cruise bus.

Olga
02-12-2010, 04:11 PM
I'm agreeing with everyone BIG TIME - especially with the kids. I can just imagine how horrible it will be with overtired kids.

I like the idea of staying at the airport then hopping the shuttle back to the airport and taking the DCL transportation the morning of the cruise. No rushing around like a maniac.

It's the $$ that will make or break it with my husband - we really don't have extra $ flying around. BUT it is over a year away.

I've never used priceline but they seem to have the best rates - can someone explain it to me and let me know how well it works. Is it a guaranteed rate once you book with them?? I'm not used to the whole "bidding" thing- it sounds very risky.

BBM
If your husband says you can't go a day earlier, then make sure you buy insurance for your flight and cruise.

TheWog
02-16-2010, 10:28 AM
The only thing that would stink is having to check our luggage ourselves for the cruise- does anyone remember if that's done at the transportation desk at MCO or if it's just stored under the bus and we check it at the terminal?

As mentioned, if you stay at the MCO Hyatt they will take care of it for you.

Raven9 Studios
02-16-2010, 11:03 AM
Our DCL vaca isn't until May 2011

Any suggestions / thoughts? I've done DCL cruises many times and usually flown out of Boston about 7:30 - but that flight time is not currently an option. The later flight puts us at risk for delay and if things go smoothly, we'd get to the terminal around 2:30 - 3:00.... HUGE difference than 11am.


we did a non stop leaving at 9am getting into the airport around 1230 ...we had to wait about 30 min or so then took the shuttle with disney it was fine and we had tons of time to spare. saved us close to 300 with 2 kids

NancyIL
02-16-2010, 11:33 AM
Since all the debate over global warming came up, it sure seems that NO month is assured of no snow.
The last 6 global WARMING hearings have be SNOWED OUT! :rolleyes1

Haven't heard much from Al Gore lately. Oh yeah - he is still shoveling his driveway in Tennessee! :rotfl2:

For my cruises out of Port Canaveral, I have arrived several days early and gone to WDW first. (I have also returned to WDW post-cruise, but that had nothing to do with flights.) I would NOT fly to the departure city the same day ANY cruise leaves.

ruadisneyfan2
02-16-2010, 01:05 PM
Another vote for flying the day or night before. We usually fly down between 6-8pm the night before and it's actually cheapest time of day. We get the Hyatt through Hotwire ranging from $54 to $79. Not sure how pp calculated a $300 savings by flying down same day. I guess it depends on airlines.

We have done both and 2 out of 8 cruises, our luggage was delayed. First time was same day cruise. We were so stressed out, we stayed at the airport until the next plane arrived from Philly which we were told, our luggage would be on. The airline assured us earlier that they would deliver them to the ship but I didn't trust them. Staff was bickering and trying to figure out to get so many bags to so many people and which employees could be called in to work a double, who still hadn't gotten a lunch break, who had too much OT, etc. Not organized and did not instill confidence in me that they could get it together. We ate lunch and when the next plane arrived, got our bags and rushed to the port.

Also by waking up at such a ridiculous hour, we were all cranky all day and ds fell asleep during dinner. Never again. :headache: When we fly down night before, we all get a good night's sleep and arrive at the port early, well rested and ready for fun!:woohoo:

MCO has so many inexpensive airport-type hotels. Why start your vacay off with so much stress for you and your family? Not worth the small $$ savings imho.

GrumpyBelle
02-16-2010, 01:13 PM
I would go with a flight the day before--just in case. Last July, our return flight was delayed for over 2 hours due to technical problems with the plane. I would not want to risk missing the ship due to something like this--the cost of 1 night in a hotel is well worth making sure I am on board when the ship departs.

disneyfool_1202
02-16-2010, 03:15 PM
Thanks! Still working on him!!

TheWog
02-16-2010, 03:37 PM
Thanks! Still working on him!!

Good luck. Enjoying the snow? Route 3 is at a standstill right now.

2littleprincesses
02-16-2010, 04:08 PM
I see that priceline cannot guarantee you a room for 4. It is only a room for 2. Has anyone had problems getting a room for 4?

TheWog
02-16-2010, 04:20 PM
I see that priceline cannot guarantee you a room for 4. It is only a room for 2. Has anyone had problems getting a room for 4?

That is a disclaimer, particularly in areas such as NYC where there are sometimes rooms only big enough for 2. I think you will find most hotels (if not all) in the Orlando area are set up for at least 4 or more (family destination).

Shelly F - Ohio
02-16-2010, 06:26 PM
Arrive the night before. Why get up at 4 a.m. and be to tired to enjoy the first night of the cruise.
This will eliminate the possibility of something going wrong if you fly the day of. There are 100's of things that could happen and cause you some panic. Such as someone causing a security violation thus resulting in the airport to be evacuated and everyone rescreened. there could be an accident that ties things up on the highway. So too many things could happen to risk missing the cruise.
Spend the night, relax at the hotel then make your way to the cruise being well rested.

macd4
02-16-2010, 10:24 PM
Fly in the night before.
Get a Priceline hotel near the port (about $60).
Get a one-way car rental. (about $75)
Use the car to stop at a store to buy some carry on beverages that you might otherwise purchase on board.
The savings from car vs. bus, and carry on beverages vs. by-the-glass will make it a break-even event.

Happy100
02-17-2010, 11:16 AM
Thanks!!! For our upcoming cruise I was considering flying in the day of. Now I am convinced...fly day before as we did last cruise. :cool2:

However this time I think I will stay at MCO because our hotel at PC was so loud the night before our cruise we didn't get enough sleep.:confused3