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Old 02-25-2013, 10:33 AM   #16
Petrus4DCL
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Where to stay before your cruise.

If you don't arrive too late, staying in Cocoa Beach has its advantages. The Marriott and Hampton Inn (Free Buffet Breakfast at Hampton) offer parking and shuttle to the port. They also have a nice walking path to the beach. Cocoa Beach is interesting in itself. Take a trip to Ron Jon. Being that close to the ship you can have a more relaxed morning getting ready to go as well.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calismic View Post
We were initially going to stay at a Disney Resort until I discovered its further from the Port and the buses leave later. Since we have an 11am PAT, I'd like to get as much time on the boat as possible. So we decided to stay at the MCO Hyatt and take the first DCL bus out of the airport.
Does anyone know what time the DCL busses start from the Hyatt? Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:12 AM   #18
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We are booked at the Country Inn and Suites at MCO, for the night before, and we'll take their shuttle back over to the airport in the morning to catch the Magical Express out to the port.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:17 AM   #19
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Radisson

Radisson for us. Free transportation from Orlando airport to the hotel and it only cost less than $10 to be dropped off at the ship. Saved us from renting a car following our flight.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:35 AM   #20
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Animal Kingdom Kidnai for us. We are still debating if we should stay closer to port. We will be arrived one day prior to the cruise and we will have our car rental for 2 weeks. Our traditon is to go to Downtown Disney for dinner once we picked up our car rental at MCO. I figured it is not a big deal to drive an hour to port the next morning and pay the $75 for parking. The shuttle from Comfort Inn would cost us $40 for 4 of us if we were to stay there for the free cruise and stay package.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSpray View Post
Does anyone know what time the DCL busses start from the Hyatt? Thanks!
When I did this in December they asked us to be back in the boarding area around 9:15 (we never left the area) and I think it was around 9:30 they started loading the first bus and it left shortly after that.
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Radisson for us. Free transportation from Orlando airport to the hotel and it only cost less than $10 to be dropped off at the ship. Saved us from renting a car following our flight.
Thanks for sharing! I wasn't aware they offered a free shuttle from MCO to the hotel! Something to consider down later...

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Old 02-25-2013, 12:54 PM   #22
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We've done the Country Inn and Suites and the Hyatt MCO. The latter is better, but was too expensive last time. The CIS is easy. Very short shuttle ride, nice hotel, and only 15,000 Club Carlson points for a free night, which are very easy to earn.

As of two weeks ago, the first bus left MCO at 9:30. It's just a podium now, not a full check in. We didn't know that they no longer give boarding passes at MCO and instead everything is tied to the port arrival time you select online. It's lucky we are type A and got the 11:00 a.m. boarding time even though we didn't think we needed it. (There really ought to be a sticky about this -- there were definitely some people surprised they would be sitting around the terminal and didn't get an early boarding time by virtue of taking the transfer.)
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:08 PM   #23
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our flight comes in late the night before our trip so we are staying at the Hyatt MCO
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lark View Post
We've done the Country Inn and Suites and the Hyatt MCO. The latter is better, but was too expensive last time. The CIS is easy. Very short shuttle ride, nice hotel, and only 15,000 Club Carlson points for a free night, which are very easy to earn.

As of two weeks ago, the first bus left MCO at 9:30. It's just a podium now, not a full check in. We didn't know that they no longer give boarding passes at MCO and instead everything is tied to the port arrival time you select online. It's lucky we are type A and got the 11:00 a.m. boarding time even though we didn't think we needed it. (There really ought to be a sticky about this -- there were definitely some people surprised they would be sitting around the terminal and didn't get an early boarding time by virtue of taking the transfer.)
We also got an 11am PAT, but are you saying they made people wait for a later DCL bus, or they could still get on an early bus out of MCO but then would have to wait at the port? Have they been strict about sticking to the PATs and allowing (or not allowing) people to enter the port early?
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:18 PM   #25
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We also got an 11am PAT, but are you saying they made people wait for a later DCL bus, or they could still get on an early bus out of MCO but then would have to wait at the port? Have they been strict about sticking to the PATs and allowing (or not allowing) people to enter the port early?
They let you board the bus without regard to your PAT and they let everyone who comes by bus enter the terminal without regard to your PAT -- at least they did with the first bus. However, they are pretty inflexible about enforcing PATs once you get to the terminal. Your boarding number is based solely on your PAT.

We went with another family that had checked in a couple of days before the cruise, and so they had a 3:00 or 3:30 PAT. We had 11:00 or 11:30 -- can't remember. They let all of us board the 9:30 bus and they let all of us in the terminal when we arrived and before the opened the terminal to others, but they were pretty hardcore about boarding numbers. Eventually, we talked them into letting our friends be in our boarding group (like 11 or something). We got lucky -- our reservations were linked by our TA and we used that to argue we should all be able to board together. They made an exception, but seemed pretty willing to make our friends sit around if it had come to that. They were unmoved by the explanation that when we selected PATs, the old procedure (boarding cards at MCO) was still in place.

I'm actually not all that sure how much it would have mattered, though. The boarding was rapid. Boarding started around 11:15 and boarding group 11 was called within 20 minutes or so. Apparently, once the terminal empties out, they will let anyone board, not matter what your number, and the PATs make it so the terminal isn't quite so crowded. I think our friends would have been able to board by a little after noon anyway.

So, if you end up with a late PAT, you may still be able to get on board early by virtue of taking the bus, just because they will let you enter the terminal if you take the bus -- at least, they will for now.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:13 PM   #26
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Currently looking to book the Hyatt Orlando, but wondering if I should stay closer to the port.
We stayed at Four Points Sheraton in Cocoa Beach. It is right next to the Ron Jon Surf Shop and a short walk to the beach. We liked it so much we are staying there again for our next cruise.

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Old 02-25-2013, 07:21 PM   #27
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We stayed at the Hampton Inn our last cruise. Booked the Fly, Snooze & Cruise package. Included all transfers to and from MCO and the cruise terminal. Standard hotel with ocean views with direct beach access via a short path.
Thanks for this info!! We were deciding if we wanted to stay at the airport and use DCL buses or if we wanted to stay closer. We will definetly be using the package and staying there. How was the shuttle to an from the airport?
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:35 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurie26739
Radisson for us. Free transportation from Orlando airport to the hotel and it only cost less than $10 to be dropped off at the ship. Saved us from renting a car following our flight.
Which Radisson did you book?
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:29 PM   #29
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In the past we used to stay at a WDW resort, but the last cruise in October 2012 we stayed at CI&S at the port. It was convenient to stay at the port but the hotel was just ok. I've stayed at much nicer CI&S at other locations. The free breakfast was not very good either. Again I've had better at other CI&S or competitor hotels. We are cruising again this May and may give the Holiday Inn Express a try.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:49 PM   #30
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We stayed at the Country Inn as well the night before we cruised. It was clean and the owners were extremely friendly. I'd stay there again pre-cruise.

We stayed at the Hyatt at MCO the night before we flew home. Our room was lovely and the bed was very comfortable.
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