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Old 12-03-2012, 10:27 AM   #1
JimGA
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Night before, stay at Disney or Port Canaveral?

First time cruiser, and I was wondering what others have done.

We sail on the Dream in May,and I am torn between staying at a Disney resort the night before the cruise and then driving to Port Canaveral the morning of to board the ship or staying at a hotel in Port Canaveral and watching the ships sail away out of port the day before our cruie.

What have others done? Has anyone done both?

We are driving from GA, so transportation is no issue and the pirice of the hotel will be about the same, (Disney Moderate resort). I know our kids would love to splash in a Disney pool but we have never seen a cruise ship before and I heard that it is neat to see these ships leave the port, the Fantasy leaves port the day beofre ours.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:29 AM   #2
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I would recommend staying at Country Inn & Suites in Port Canaveral then leave your car parked there and ride their shuttle and save the cost of parking at the port. Done in 3 times now and it's so easy!
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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I think it depends on if you can catch the parks or not. If you can do the parks then stay at Disney but expect to get to the boats later. In my case I didn't get to port till 1:30 pm and bag got to my room @ 6:00 pm.

If you stay at the port for can get on the ship alot sooner(11:00 am`ish).
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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There may be an advantage to staying at the port that you haven't considered. Many of the hotels at the port offer a room rate that includes parking while you are gone plus transportation to/from the ship. We've done that on several cruises.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:13 PM   #5
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Going to WDW when driving down is actually a bit out of the way...and your WDW resort won't include breakfast the next morning or parking while cruising (which many of the port area hotels will).

When we fly in, if we have time to enjoy some part of Disney, we will do that. When we drive, I go directly to the port. After our long drive, I'm not interested in adding an extra amount of time to see the mouse.

The CI&S and Residence Inn are both great places to stay. CI&S does charge for the shuttle ($5 per person). If you want, you can take your family to the terminal and drop them and the luggage. They can check in for the family while the driver returns to the hotel and rides the shuttle back to the terminal. DO make shuttle reservations!

Or, for a family of 4, shuttle both ways is $40. For $60 you can park at the terminal and not have to mess with shuttles at all (3 night cruise = 4 days X $15 per day)

Last edited by kcashner; 12-03-2012 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:32 PM   #6
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I have driven down when we lived in GA and I highly recommend the Residence Inn on Cocoa Beach. Wonderful hotel with breakfast. I would pay to park at the port for a three day cruise. It is just so nice getting in your car and heading back north after your cruise instead of waiting in the heat (yes even in May) for a crowded shuttle bus. I have done it both ways and for us, getting in our car immediately and heading up 95 is sooooooooo much better.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:38 PM   #7
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We always stay at WDW a couple of days before & after. We drive from Tennessee we get there around 3 or 4 o'clock & either hit EPCOT or go to Downtown Disney. We leave from WDW around 8:45 & get to the port & park by 10:15 at the latest. We just love getting a little Disney magic before we cruise.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:58 PM   #8
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We have done both and for us it all depends on if we want to visit the parks. If we go to the parks, then staying at Disney is best.

But if you aren't going to the parks, then it is SO nice to stay at the port and wake up without any worries about car problems or traffic problems getting to the port. You are just there and you can sleep in that morning, get a late breakfast, and then head over to the port and feel very rested and less stressed.

I would never choose to stay at Disney unless we are visiting the parks the day before.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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We have never paid extra for the Shuttle at CI&S, it has always been included with our room.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poohj80 View Post
We have never paid extra for the Shuttle at CI&S, it has always been included with our room.
They charged us $5 each the end of October. Maybe they like you better than us.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdb in AZ View Post
They charged us $5 each the end of October. Maybe they like you better than us.
We paid for parking but did not pay extra for the shuttle.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:55 PM   #12
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We always stay at Disney before a cruise whether we are going to the parks or not.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:06 PM   #13
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Putting in my two cents. In the past, we've stayed in a studio at Saratoga and just wake up super early the day we leave and drive to the port.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:08 PM   #14
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We are all Disney all the time (24/7). I know there are cheaper ways to go but we love Disney. We get to Florida at least one night before DCL departs, take the ME to the resort, DCL transport to the port and port to air port. When we save for our Disney vacations we make sure we have saved enough to include everything. We have stayed at moderates and deluxe so far but plan on staying in one of the value resorts in 2014 when we HOPE to go over Christmas.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnesotaMouseketeers View Post
We are all Disney all the time (24/7). I know there are cheaper ways to go but we love Disney. We get to Florida at least one night before DCL departs, take the ME to the resort, DCL transport to the port and port to air port. When we save for our Disney vacations we make sure we have saved enough to include everything. We have stayed at moderates and deluxe so far but plan on staying in one of the value resorts in 2014 when we HOPE to go over Christmas.
If we were flying, we'd do the same thing, but the OP is driving so parking is an issue as well.
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