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Old 09-16-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
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Transportation and Port Advice Wanted

Hi!

We are group of 5: 1 3 year old , 2 senior citizens, and 2 adults.

We are taking the Fantasy on October 13 and I am trying to figure out the logistics of our plans. Can you tell me a little bit about your experiences with the shuttle services (Cocoa Beach, Laura's, any others you are familiar with?)

We are planning to go from our hotel near the airport to the port on Saturday morning. Should we try to arrive right at 11:00? Will the traffic be terrible? What time would you have the shuttle arrive at the hotel - I *think* it's an hour to the port but am wondering about punctuality of the shuttle and traffic congestion...


When we return on the 20th, we will have the entire day because we fly out in the early morning on the 21st. I was thinking it might be better to rent a car so we have some freedom that day. If we were to rent a car, how would we get from the ship to the car? What car rental places are in the area?

Any tips, advice or experience on these questions - or just advice in general on the experience - will all be appreciated. We have never cruised before and I want to be sure the whole family has a great experience. (Hubby is very active, grandparents are very NOT active - 3 year old is, well, 3, so she will have a blast no matter what!)

Thanks in advance for your advice :-)

Last edited by New to this; 09-16-2012 at 02:44 PM. Reason: corrected spelling
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:52 PM   #2
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I can't answer many of your questions. I will be sailing on the same cruise but will be driving in.

I am going to ask a couple of questions so that others may be better able to help you.

Have you registered yet? What is your check-in time?

What airport are you using? Many fly into Orlando. Your questions make me think you may be using an airport closer to the port.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for the guidance DOPEYLUVER!
>Have you registered yet? What is your check-in time?<
The travel agent just sent us a confirmation email with a registration number on it. Doesn't say anything about "check-in time" though. We are waiting for room assignments - Maybe they get assigned at the same time?


>What airport are you using?<
We are flying into Orlando on Friday night and staying at a hotel near the airport. The transit people I spoke with had a wide range of pick up times - from 9:30/10 to as late as 12:30/1:00. I really don't want to be rushed or in a hurry. Or worse!
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:47 PM   #4
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It's about an hour from Orlando to the port. I would say choose the 9:30/10:00 am pick up time. That way you're not rushing and will have time to have lunch on board before the ship sails.

If you're not going to WDW after the cruise, reserve a private car service to take you to your new hotel. Try to pick a car rental service that will pick you up at your hotel. There are rental car agencies close to the port, but you'll have to pay a hefty fee for a one way rental. You can always get transpo to the airport and rent there, go to your hotel and return the car when your flight leaves.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:23 PM   #5
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Is this your first cruise on DCL? If so, at 75 days before the cruise you will be able to do an "on line check in." At that time, you will be assigned what DCL will call a boarding time but is really a port arrival time. With an October cruise, you can obviously do that now. If you arrive before your scheduled arrival time, you MAY have to wait depending on how crowded the terminal happens to be. By 12, the crowds are gone and you'll be able to enter at will.

OK, so flying in and taking free hotel shuttle to the hotel. There are hotels that have stay and cruise packages (Wyngate and Hyatt Place are two). They will shuttle you from the hotel to the port and then back to the hotel or MCO at the other end. Most do not offer the one way option though.

Reliable shuttle companies include Florida Tours, Happy Limo, Cocoa Beach Shuttle, RJ's, Tiffany Limo, etc.

On the way home, there are lots of car rental companies that offer one way rental from the CAPE Canaveral or Cocoa Beach area. These include Budget, Thrifty/Dollar, Avis, Hertz, etc. There are discount rental codes at rentalcodes.com and mousesavers.com. While some companies do charge a one way drop off fee, many do not. All have a shuttle from the terminal to their "store." Do not put in PORT Canaveral when you do your search--it will not show any agencies as they are technically not located at the port. We typically pay about $50 or less for a one way rental of a full sized vehicle. I suspect that this may not handle 5 people though. If staying at a WDW hotel, you could use DCL transportation from the port to the hotel--no worries about luggage that way; or you can use a limo service to the hotel of your choice) but then you won't have a car.

From WDW, Magical Express will return you to the airport the next day (free). Again, most hotels in the MCO area will have a free shuttle.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:08 AM   #6
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Thanks!

We are staying near the airport and the hotel doesn't provide port transport so I will definitely look up those rental places. I can't wait!

This is our first Disney experience of any kind, aside from my visit to Epcot as an 11 year old.

I guess I should do the online check in now and will aim to arrive at the port around noon.

I appreciate the tips on rental discounts, too. That's a good idea to rent from the airport rather than the port, I'll check it out.

So much to do! So much to plan! I just realized Castaway Cay in the Bahamas requires a visa for my inlaws, so have to figure out the quickest way to achieve that. They are Indian citizens in the us on a tourism multiple entry visa. I've got a bit of stress considering they won't be here til October 1 so we'll need a very quick turn around for the documents - We leave for the cruise 10/12, cruise departs 10/13.

thank you again for your help!

:-)
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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Hotel/Shuttle to/from PORT

kcashner - this is helpful advice, thank you. We are on our first DCL this Dec 7nt Fantasy. We would like to stay at a hotel that can pick us up (shuttle) from the airport to the hotel, then hotel to Port Canaveral for our DC and vice versa. Do you know of the specific Hyatt or Wyngate details you mentioned below? I'd like to book my reservation with them. Thanks so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
Is this your first cruise on DCL? If so, at 75 days before the cruise you will be able to do an "on line check in." At that time, you will be assigned what DCL will call a boarding time but is really a port arrival time. With an October cruise, you can obviously do that now. If you arrive before your scheduled arrival time, you MAY have to wait depending on how crowded the terminal happens to be. By 12, the crowds are gone and you'll be able to enter at will.

OK, so flying in and taking free hotel shuttle to the hotel. There are hotels that have stay and cruise packages (Wyngate and Hyatt Place are two). They will shuttle you from the hotel to the port and then back to the hotel or MCO at the other end. Most do not offer the one way option though.

Reliable shuttle companies include Florida Tours, Happy Limo, Cocoa Beach Shuttle, RJ's, Tiffany Limo, etc.

On the way home, there are lots of car rental companies that offer one way rental from the CAPE Canaveral or Cocoa Beach area. These include Budget, Thrifty/Dollar, Avis, Hertz, etc. There are discount rental codes at rentalcodes.com and mousesavers.com. While some companies do charge a one way drop off fee, many do not. All have a shuttle from the terminal to their "store." Do not put in PORT Canaveral when you do your search--it will not show any agencies as they are technically not located at the port. We typically pay about $50 or less for a one way rental of a full sized vehicle. I suspect that this may not handle 5 people though. If staying at a WDW hotel, you could use DCL transportation from the port to the hotel--no worries about luggage that way; or you can use a limo service to the hotel of your choice) but then you won't have a car.

From WDW, Magical Express will return you to the airport the next day (free). Again, most hotels in the MCO area will have a free shuttle.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:16 PM   #8
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Do not put in PORT Canaveral when you do your search--it will not show any agencies as they are technically not located at the port.

Then what do you put in for one way to and from MCO to look up prices if you can't use Port Canaveral?
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:29 PM   #9
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When we cruised in Feb, we were not flying out of MCO until late on debarkation day so we rented a car from the port and returned it at the airport. There was no one way rental charge. We rented from Budget and their shuttle picked us up at the port. The cost for the day was about £20 (sorry from the uk) for an intermediate car (though we actually got a huge vehicle for no extra charge as all the smaller ones were booked out - glad we had pre booked ). When we searched for the rental we just put port canaveral in and followed the links. They also let us have a car seat for DS (5) for no extra charge. We will be using them again next Feb.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamcgrory View Post
Do not put in PORT Canaveral when you do your search--it will not show any agencies as they are technically not located at the port.

Then what do you put in for one way to and from MCO to look up prices if you can't use Port Canaveral?
Maybe try Cocoa Beach, or Cocoa, or Cape Canaveral (not Port, Cape)

Those are are towns closest to the Port.

Or an specific address (hotel, or whatever).

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Old 09-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #11
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:36 PM   #12
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You pick-up or drop-off in Cape Canaveral
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:37 PM   #13
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My point is that you must use CAPE Canaveral, not PORT Canaveral when you look at car rental places. If you put in the word "Port," it says "no locations available" because they are not located at the port.

For Budget, the CAPE Canaveral code is CC5. At the airport it is MCO.

The Hyatt Place is called Hyatt Place Northwest. You can google them to get prices for your dates. For our dates it was $159 for the overnight stay + breakfast + transfers round trip to Port Canaveral for up to 4 people.

The Wyngate was $210 for 2 people. They used to have a 10:30 departure, but I've read (no personal experience) that they now do a 12:00 departure for the port.

After the cruise, they will take you from the cruise terminal back to either the Hyatt Place or to the airport--your choice if you do the one from the Hyatt...and if you happen to have a car, the rate also includes parking at their hotel while you cruise. In addition, they have a shuttle with a great driver from MCO to the hotel (no charge). He offered to take us to dinner if he wasn't busy with airport runs. There is a TGI Friday's walking distance from the hotel and you don't have to go out to any big roads. Breakfast at the hotel is GOOD and plentiful. This is my favorite "off site" hotel.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner
My point is that you must use CAPE Canaveral, not PORT Canaveral when you look at car rental places. If you put in the word "Port," it says "no locations available" because they are not located at the port.

For Budget, the CAPE Canaveral code is CC5. At the airport it is MCO.
Not trying to be argumentative, but Budget will accept PORT Canaveral as a location, but I am looking at the UK version of the site as that is how we made our bookings.
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