View Full Version : Help!Busy Itinerary, transportation, and cruise pricing questions!!

09-21-2003, 08:52 PM
Does it sound like I am falling apart? Actually I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. I have no idea how I am going to be able to make it to next August....

We have (tentatively) chosen to cruise August 14 on the Magic and here are my questions:

1) We will fly into Orlando first and do theme parks first. Then we want to drive to Tampa to try Bush Gardens, after a day at Bush, we thought we'd drive over to Port Canaveral to do our cruise. Are we crazy?

Can we turn in our rental car in Port Canveral that we originally rented in Orlando, then do we need to rent another car to get back to the Orlando airport, or is there some sort of shuttle service we could hire to transport us from Port Canaveral to Orlando airport?

2) Driving from Tampa the morning of the cruise, will we have plenty of time?

3) Have not checked DU yet, but saw pricing from allseatravel and prices are $3535 for cat12 inside to $4895 cat6 w/verandah. What do you think of that?(2 adults, 2 kids under 12)
Also, we have never cruised before, but we are the type of people that are never in our hotel room, so I doubt we would be in our cabin at all, 'cept for a little shut eye.
We are frugal people, and enjoyed our last trip, even though we did not stay at a Disney resort (didn't want to spend the $$).

If you were that type of person, which cabin would you get?

Thanks a Bunch everybody!!

09-21-2003, 09:16 PM
1) You can rent a "one-way" car. Check out Dave's site for information:
For the four of you, renting a car is probably the cheapest (even on the return). That is what we have done, and will do again in November.
2) Going from Orlando to the Port on the morning of the cruise isn't a big deal. I guess if you go from Tampa to Port, you just need to leave a little earlier... but you should be fine.
3) Those prices sound a little expensive. We have book both DCL cruises through Cruise.com and found their prices the best. Shop around. We cruised cat. 11 last time and will go cat. 6 this time. cat. 11 was fine, we just want to have a verandah this time, and since we have a 50% off voucher from being bump last November due to Norwalk virus, we figured we might as well! But, if you want to save the money, cat. 12 will probably be fine.

09-21-2003, 09:23 PM
According to my mapping/routing software, you should allow 2 hours, 17 minutes to get from Busch Gardens to the Avis office in Cape Canaveral. That's certainly doable.

<i>(f.y.i... it's "Busch", not "Bush" Gardens. This park, along with Sea World, is owned by a division of the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company.)</i>

09-21-2003, 10:02 PM
Thanks Dave and nedleycan!
Dave, what a great site--I appreciate it.
I sooo cannot wait for my trip!

09-21-2003, 10:28 PM
Through the end of this month, dreams unlimited (www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com) are running a booking special where they are offering $$$ off the total cost of cruise. For instance, we are going a few weeks after you, August 29th on the Wonder, and the cost for 6 of us, booking 1 cat 6 room and 1 cat 11 room is about $3500.00. (Now, the prices originally for the dates we picked were cheaper than the week you are looking at, but this will just give you an idea what we are paying......

Buckaroo's Dad
09-22-2003, 06:33 AM
Hi IowaGirl.

1) We will fly into Orlando first and do theme parks first. Then we want to drive to Tampa to try Bush Gardens, after a day at Bush, we thought we'd drive over to Port Canaveral to do our cruise. Are we crazy?

I don't know whether or not you're crazy, but it sounds to me like you're trying to do 10-pounds of activities in a 5-pound vacation.

Let's see. You plan to awaken one friday morning, pack up a rental car, drive to Busch Gardens, play there all day/evening, secure a room for the night and then drive to Port Canaveral the following morning. Why? My recommendation is to save Busch Gardens for another time and give yourselves a full day at SeaWorld. No need, then, to pack-and-drive. Besides, you have two kids. Exhausting them the evening before your cruise might not be a pretty sight.

we have never cruised before, but we are the type of people that are never in our hotel room, so I doubt we would be in our cabin at all, 'cept for a little shut eye.

Just remember, onboard ship you can leave your "hotel room" but not the "hotel"...

09-22-2003, 08:24 AM

As is often the case, I agree with BD.

I would go spend the night before near port canaveral. Take the shuttle to the ship.

Just my two cents.


09-22-2003, 10:55 AM
Hello Iowagirl from a fellow Iowan (I live in Cedar Falls),

I also have to agree with BD. It sounds like you are trying to put an awlful lot into one vacation. I would skip BG this trip and stay at Disney or go to Sea World. Although BG is a good place to visit you may find it lacking compared to Disney. We have been to both and we still like Disney over BG. Also, you really do not want to tire yourself out before your cruise.

We have been on 3 cruises and we are going on numbers 4 & 5 next year so I would be happy to answer any questions if I can. Please pm or email me if you would like and and I can tell you about our experiences.

If you haven't found out already, this board is great for information also. Another website to check out is www.*****************.

09-22-2003, 09:57 PM
as far as your questions on pricing...

The most important thing I think is to shop around!!!! I called many places last Jan. when we booked our July 25, 2003 7 day DCL Eastern cruise. In our particular case Cruise.com beat out DU, all seasons, expedia, AAA, etc. We paid $6500 for 2 Cat. 10 rooms for 5 people----can't really compare to your pricing as this is like comparing apples to oranges.

Currently I'm pricing a Carnival cruise for next summer for us and I just found out about Crucon Cruise Outlet. Lots of good reports about them on the Cruise Critic Boards. Until I tried them Cruise.com was again the lowest bid I had gotten. Now I got a quote today from Crucon for $166 less. You might want to try them just to see---supposedly they are the best pricing of most anywhere. If anyone has heard otherwise, please respond as I'll probably book through them this week! :D

09-25-2003, 05:45 PM
Thanks for the advice all! I should have mentioned we were considering two weeks, or almost two weeks in Florida, so I am still wondering if we are rushed on this kind of schedule.
We want to arrive in Orlando, spend the next day just relaxing at our hotel, do 2 days at WDW, rest a day, then do 2 days at Universal/IOA, then do one day at Busch G, then cruise for 7 days.
We might have to cut that back to a five day cruise, but we will see.
We love WDW, but we really loved Universal/IOA, and we just adored FOTL there. The kids priority was seeing Busch Gardens since they had never been. I am not sad about 2 days at WDW, besides we will be doing a Disney cruise.

Still looking for feedback on this itinerary, if you have any!

My only problem is that I really thought we would be able to do a Disney cruise for the four of us for around $3,000, and that is not happening. So I ponder....

09-25-2003, 06:47 PM
How about you do the 2 days at WDW and then go to Busch Gardens and then 2 days at WDW and then cruise (there are only 3, 4 or 7 day cruises, no 5 days). I personally don't think this is too much driving, but I love driving, so I don't see it as a chore. I actually didn't find anything wrong with your first itinerary either (since I like driving and get bored if I stay in one place for too long).
But, having said that, I don't know if Busch Gardens is worth it. I would only go there if I was spending time on that coast (like spending a night or two on St. Pete's Beach). Otherwise, Orlando has the best amusement parks.
I think you should be able to get the cruise for $3000. The prices you quoted seem very high to me.

09-25-2003, 07:32 PM
Hello IowaGirl from another in West Des Moines! I have to agree with BD, I would skip Busch Gardens. I don't know the ages of your children but back in '00 we ended up spending 10 days in Orlando for a baseball tournament just 7 days before our first and also the Magic's first 7 day cruise. Our boys were teens back then and our daughter was 8. The kids were so worn out after the many days at the parks we just chilled out and really enjoyed the 6 day break back here in West Des Moines. When we go on our DCL cruises we always fly in a day ahead and now we do nothing but relax. The first day on the ship is so much more enjoyable not being tired from the long flight. (Which from Des Moines, it means we are up by 4:00 AM!!!)

Here is a good rule of thumb for the price per person on a DCL cruise. Our TA told us that Disney doesn't have a lot of room for discounting. Pricing should be close no matter who you book through. Always add in the extra charges the ads seem to leave out, like port charges and transportation to port. We have been on 5 Disney cruises. As you know, air out of Des Moines is expensive. We can always count on spending $2000 per person for a cruise. Now that is a cat 6, room with a balcony (verandah) but it also includes all the extra charges. I always read the low prices posted on this board but even when we got our Dreams quote it was not any different than from the TA we do use. She is a friend so we go ahead and use her. If she ever quits we will use Dreams.

One more thing, tips are not prepaid because DCL doesn't do this. The extra costs you will have are tips and what ever you bought while on board.

Lelani is great, we met last Spring Break. PM or Email her or me for any questions. Another Iowan on the DIS is Padre Disney!
Happy Cruisin' Kathy

09-26-2003, 08:26 AM
We are also very frugal and will be staying in cat. 11 with 3 people. We've enjoyed our room and have booked the same one 3 times. Would I ever book higher? Well maybe if I win the lotto!

Have fun!