View Full Version : Input on towncar service, lodging @cocoa beach

02-04-2005, 03:46 AM
Hi Everyone,

We're catching a redeye out of Seattle, arriving Orlando at 6:30am on Fri. morning and will be going out on the Magic on Sat. After much thought, I felt the easiest thing would be to priceline a hotel in the MCO area and then rent a car on Sat. and drive to the port.

DH isn't crazy about this idea and wants to get towncar service to the port and stay there. Just wants to get settled in one place with the kids when we arrive, and not hassle with airport shuttle, sleeping kids, unpacking twice, rental car lines etc.

A couple of ??. I notice that most of the transportation lists towncars. There are 4 of us (2 kids) and we'll have a suitcase each. According to most websites the towncars will only hold 2 suitcases. The next step up is a van for 10 people or a limo ($$$$$) for 8. I'm interested in hearing what others experiences have been. Who did you use, what type of vehicle and did your luggage fit? It seems there must be lots of families of 4 that have 4 suitcases. Seems extreme to have to get such a large vehicle (stretch limo) to accommodate a reasonable amount of luggage.

I'm now trying to figure out what to do about the accomodations. We will be getting into the port about 9am. I'm wondering if I should take my chances to get an early checkin or if I should pay for the night before. I thought about priceline to save $$ but all that has been coming up is Holiday Inn Oceanfront and reviews are bad. Plus, don't want to risk only getting one bed.

Anyone have any input or experience they can share with me? Suggestions on hotels. Reserve one night or two (including the night before guaranteeing an early checkin?)


02-04-2005, 05:27 AM
We're a party of 4 and have always used Tiffany Towncar's stretch limo. My DH likes to be comfortable while on vacation. A less expensive alternative is the van that you mentioned, because you're right when you say that 4 of you and your luggage won't fit into a towncar. A large van does seem like overkill for 4 people, but that might be the best/only way to go if you don't want a limo.

If it were me, I'd call some of the towncar/limo companies and see what they say. You can get prices and they can let you know about the luggage. If you go over to the Transportation message board, you will be able to see the different companies located down in Orlando. Off the top of my head, in addition to Tiffany Towncar, there is FL Tours, Happy Limo, Southern Elegence, Golden Limo. Personally, I've used Tiffany Towncar three different times and had excellent service each time.

Regarding the hotel at the port, when you make a reservation, you can ask about that, too. I imagine you'll be pretty tired when you arrive at 9am, after traveling all night. We stayed at the Radisson at the Port and it was very nice. I have some pictures of our room on my web site, the link is below. Ask them how they would accomodate early arrivals.

I hope this info is helpful, and have a great trip! :)

02-04-2005, 06:28 AM
DH and I used FL Tours in October - the towncar was nice and clean, the drivers were prompt and courteous, and there was space in the trunk for all four pieces of luggage that we had.

Yes, I said four pieces of luggage. :teeth: For two people. :teeth:

We had a large suitcase, a medium sized suitcase, a long garment bag, and a large duffell bag with a backpack. All of it fit nicely into the trunk of the towncar - it looked like a big trunk to me.

I'd suggest calling and talking to someone at the company if you're thinking that a towncar is the way to go. And figure out just how much luggage you're going to have!

We really liked using the towncar service - it was relaxing and very enjoyable. No noise, no crowds, and they picked us up exactly when we asked them to. Just for reference - we were picked up at the airport, taken to the Beach Club Villas at WDW, picked up four days later for the cruise and taken to port, and then picked up at the port and taken back to the airport. It was great!

02-04-2005, 06:31 AM
I too have used Tiffany Town Cars and had a party of 4, 2 adults 2 kids, and we all fit fine in a Town Car. They are prompt, friendly and what I thought to be 1st class service. :smooth:

The Radisson at the Port has Suites, offering 1 or 2 king beds, and a breakfast buffet...
Check out thier website.
I have also heard good things about Happy Limo, they also have a web site.

02-04-2005, 07:48 AM
We used Southern Elegance in December and loved them. It was just the two of us and we had 5 bags total (large suitcase, garment bag, duffle, small rollaway, and a large camera bag). We took a stretch limo from the port to Beach Club and a towncar from Beach Club to the airport. Everything fit fine in the trunk of both cars.

The cars were clean, the drivers professional and personable, and I would highly recommend them.

02-04-2005, 10:21 AM
i also highly recommend Southern Elegance- when we took a limo with them there was more then enough room for allllllll (lots)of our luggage, there were 5 of us with a bag each and a rolling cooler and carry ons, we even had a stroller which went up front with the driver- when we took their town car there were 4 of us and approximately 4 pieces of luggage and the cooler- driver had no problem fitting bags in back & up front with him
wonderful service with professional and prompt drivers, using them again for third time 5/2005 cruise :)

02-04-2005, 12:01 PM
We used Southern Elegance last week and loved it! DH is now convinced that we will never rent a car again so he can relax and enjoy the ride! The kids had movies and drinks waiting for them. We also flew in at 9:00 a.m. and when we arrived at the Radisson our room was ready - they knew we were flying in early so that was nice.

As for the breakfast buffet I was not impressed with it! For 6 of us it cost almost $70 to eat! There is a nice little restaurant next door though and if you would prefer the limo will stop for a grocery stop and you can pick a few things up for the room. We wish we would have done this as we are used to travelling all inclusive and eating whenever and whatever. Well, there are a few restaurants by the Radisson but no stores!

02-04-2005, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the info. Chasbos, did you rent the limo or the towncar? Also, when you booked the Raddison, were they pretty receptive to that early a checkin? I hate paying for 2 nights if we are going to check in at 9am, but there is no way we are going to be able to wait until 4pm. And, I'm pretty sure they won't guarantee such an early checkin. It'll be the whole based on availability thing :sad2: Can't blame them though. I'll start making calls today and find out for sure.

How did your kids do on the flight? I'm thinking if I splurge for a limo, I want the kids to be awake enough to know it :rotfl: !!!!

I did look at Southern Elegance's board and it was very, well- elegant!! I noticed in some posts I searched that some people spoke highly of Arts Limo, but I can't seem to find it on the web at all. Anybody?


02-04-2005, 03:20 PM
We rented the white stretch limo - it was $290 for the return trip to and from the airport to the Radisson. When I booked online I just had to give them our flight number and arrival time and then a return pick up time and where you want them to pick you up.

It was so cool! It was surprise for my girls 13, 11, 9 & 6! They couldn't believe it!

I was pleasantly surprised when they let us check in our first morning, I had not even thought of check in times when I made our flight - duh! But when I called to book a time for a shuttle to the port (remember to do this and get the first one at 10 am - you are the first ones at the terminal and you can check in and then register the kids in the clubs and sit back and relax and watch movies or check out the model of the ship or watch them get the ship ready!)

My kids are really good fliers - this was a "short" flight for them, just a little over 2 hours (they are used to 8 and 5 hour flights) They have been awake when we land every time we travel and raring to go. We flew to Europe a few years ago and there is a 5 hour time difference, we left Toronto 6:00 p.m. our time and when we landed it was 7:30 a.m. in Amsterdam and they were still raring to go!

We used Art's Shuttle to get us to the Kennedy Space Center the day before we cruised but that was from a pamphlet at the Radisson, so not sure where you can find that info.

If you have any more questions just ask!

Happy Cruisers
02-04-2005, 04:15 PM
We used Happy Limo and were very satisfied. Plus on the way to the ship we recivied a free upgrade to a stretch limo. There were four of us 2 adults 2 kids. We were very excitied about the upgrade. On the way back we had the towncar and it fit our family just fine. Four suitcases and 2 backpacks. :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc

02-07-2005, 04:36 PM
We used Art's to get from Orlando to the port before one cruise. The trip was horrible on all counts -- we were picked up LONG before others in the group, the van reeked of puke, the driver literally had no idea how to get around in Orlando (repeatedly drove in circles and could not find hotel), van was overloaded to the point that those in the back were concerned for their safety was luggage was packed so high it was coming over the back seat when van stopped.

It got worse when we called the company. I was blown away by their response to our listing of the problems -- as long as we got from point A to point B then we had no reason at all to complain. I would NEVER ever use them, and would not even want my worst enemy to pay good money for such horrendous service.

02-07-2005, 07:00 PM
Uh-oh! I just booked with Art's shuttle this morning. I asked if we would be riding with any other families and she said it was doubtful. Only if we flew in with one on the same plane. It was $65 for 4 of us. We are flying in at 6:30am and a towncar won't hold our luggage. A stretch limo is more than I want to pay. Maybe if the kids were awake enough to enjoy it (I have done this in Seattle on our trip to the airport and it was fun), but undoubtably, we'll all be out of it. Now, I'm worried. I think I'll do a new post and see what others experiences have been.

Tinkmom- Can you tell me when you used them? How many were in your party and what the total count was in the van? Any addtional infor?

Thanks for letting me know, I'll have to rethink this, I guess.


02-09-2005, 11:24 AM
Uh-oh! I just booked with Art's shuttle this morning. I asked if we would be riding with any other families and she said it was doubtful. ......

Tinkmom- Can you tell me when you used them? How many were in your party and what the total count was in the van? Any addtional infor?

Thanks for letting me know, I'll have to rethink this, I guess.


We used them in October. I asked the same question about traveling with others and was told that perhaps there would be one other group, but usually not. HA! I have traveled quite a bit, and used various modes of transportation. This was not only the worst experience with a driver/vehicle, but by far the worst in dealing with the company. I can't recall the numbers, other than to say that every seat was full. The luggage storage area was simply nowhere near large enough for everyone's luggage, thus the stacking to the ceiling, as well as having to put several items at people's feet.

In retrospect we probably should have just gotten out and called a cab. It just went from bad to worse and we felt the pressure of getting to the port on time, and worried about standing on the side of the road, unable to get something decent soon. Then when we called the office, as much to let the company know about this clueless driver and disgusting van as anything, the attitude was "gotcha" -- their only question was whether we had paid the driver and once they knew that we had then they all but told us to drop dead. When the manager made his comment that we got from point A to point B and the ship didn't leave us, so we didn't have a thing to complain about, then I asked him if he really wanted to be quoted as a rep of his company that that was what they viewed as the only thing required of their service and he said, "Yep." So, there you are.

Never, ever again.