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Old 04-02-2013, 02:33 PM   #1
traceyw
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? about car rental/parking at Country Inn or port

We are going on the April 18th 3-night cruise and are flying in on the 17th, staying at the Country Inn & Suites that night. There are 4 of us so the Disney transfers do not make sense financially, plus we want to have the car for 2 days after the cruise when we are at WDW. Originally I booked two 1-way Budget rentals. It added up to about $207, not including gas.

I know from past experience that on Dollar/Thrifty the rates can go way down as you get close to going. I just checked and I can rent a midsize car for a continuous period from 4/17-4/22 for $163. Country Inn & Suites charges $40 for parking during the cruise, including r/t shuttle to the port, so it's a wash cost-wise and would presumably be a lot less hassle than returning the car on the 18th, then going back to Budget to pick up another one on the 21st. I'm thinking I could also pack smartly so I have a suitcase that has clothes for that night before and night after the cruise which I could leave in the car so we don't have to bring that on the cruise.

Does anyone have any experience with Country Inn & Suites cruise parking and shuttle? The other option is to pay the $60 to park at the port itself - is it worth the $20 to park at the port without having to deal with any kind of shuttle? WWYD?
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:00 PM   #2
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I have no expereince but we are trying to make the same decisions here. I think we are leaning towards just keeping the car and parking at the port. I have heard good reports about the rental shuttles being quick, as well as some really bad reports of it taking a very long time especially when returning. We decided it would be worth the extra money to keep the car and then like you we plan to leave one suitcase in the car (in addition to car seat and booster seat instead of renting them for us).

Hopefully someone will have a review of the shuttle from the hotel for you. I would want to make sure you can get there for your planned arrival in port.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:25 PM   #3
valdre
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We stayed at CIS for our last cruise and their shuttle was really great.
Our experience:
You could sign up the day before for the shuttle, which is your check in day. I actually called from the road around 8am on our check in day and they let me sign everyone in our party up for a shuttle (4 rooms). If you wait until you get to the hotel, some of the earlier times may be full.
We had reserved a "park and cruise" room and all we had to pay was about $5 per person for the shuttle and got to leave the vehicles in their parking lot.
The driver gave us his cell number and told us to call him when we were clearing customs so he could be there promptly. He also told/showed us where to go for him to meet us when he dropped us off. We got off the ship early and were the first group that contacted him, so he let us board first and then let whoever else had showed up at the pick up point get on after us. I think he gave us special treatment because there 13 in our group including 3 seniors, 1 infant, my husband who is disabled and my sister who broke her foot while in St. Thomas, so she had a cast on and looked pretty pitiful!
All in all it was a good experience and I would stay there again. The "park and cruise" rate was really a good deal when we cruised, which made it worth it financially for us. They also have a good hot breakfast. HTH!!
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:43 PM   #4
tweis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traceyw View Post
We are going on the April 18th 3-night cruise and are flying in on the 17th, staying at the Country Inn & Suites that night. There are 4 of us so the Disney transfers do not make sense financially, plus we want to have the car for 2 days after the cruise when we are at WDW. Originally I booked two 1-way Budget rentals. It added up to about $207, not including gas.

I know from past experience that on Dollar/Thrifty the rates can go way down as you get close to going. I just checked and I can rent a midsize car for a continuous period from 4/17-4/22 for $163. Country Inn & Suites charges $40 for parking during the cruise, including r/t shuttle to the port, so it's a wash cost-wise and would presumably be a lot less hassle than returning the car on the 18th, then going back to Budget to pick up another one on the 21st. I'm thinking I could also pack smartly so I have a suitcase that has clothes for that night before and night after the cruise which I could leave in the car so we don't have to bring that on the cruise.

Does anyone have any experience with Country Inn & Suites cruise parking and shuttle? The other option is to pay the $60 to park at the port itself - is it worth the $20 to park at the port without having to deal with any kind of shuttle? WWYD?
We had booked CIS for our last cruise but cancelled last minute and booked the Radisson because our TA at the time was able to get us a great rate for the park and cruise. Honestly, we had no real problems with using the shuttle but from now on we will probably just park at the port. I don't want to have to rely on someone else getting me to the port on time.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
JLMommy
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We are staying at the Marriott Res. Inn. I was quote $6 a day to leave the car there. I believe parking at port is $15 a day??
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JLMommy View Post
We are staying at the Marriott Res. Inn. I was quote $6 a day to leave the car there. I believe parking at port is $15 a day??
Yes, parking at the port is $15 per day.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:34 PM   #7
traceyw
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Yes, parking at the port is $15 per day.
Actually, I think it's a little more and depends upon how long the cruise is. A 3-night cruise = $60, 4-night = $75, 5-night = $90, 7-night = $120. And the costs are higher if your car is longer than 20 feet. http://www.portcanaveral.com/cruising/parking.php

If we were going on a longer cruise I would definitely do the park & cruise at CIS because it's fixed at $40 no matter how long the cruise is. Right now I'm leaning toward paying the extra $20 for the luxury of parking right at the port without having to take shuttles.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traceyw View Post
Actually, I think it's a little more and depends upon how long the cruise is. A 3-night cruise = $60, 4-night = $75, 5-night = $90, 7-night = $120. And the costs are higher if your car is longer than 20 feet. http://www.portcanaveral.com/cruising/parking.php

If we were going on a longer cruise I would definitely do the park & cruise at CIS because it's fixed at $40 no matter how long the cruise is. Right now I'm leaning toward paying the extra $20 for the luxury of parking right at the port without having to take shuttles.
No, it's $15 per day. It's not based on the number of nights you are actually on the cruise but the number of days your car is parked. So on a 3 night cruise your car is actually parked 4 days including the day of departure so it's $60. I am parking there in May and it will be $60 for my 3 night cruise. I stayed at the Radisson last cruise and parking was included in the package we purchased and it was fine but for our 7 night next year we will either park at the port again or try one of the parkandcruise lots in the area. They seem to have more shuttles running than some of the hotels.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:19 AM   #9
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OP, we have stayed at and used Country Inn and Suites shuttle for several years now - the same people have been running it and they have been efficient and timely getting people from the hotel to various cruiselines. Pick up at the port has been easy, too, and we like being back at the hotel for a few minutes before leaving as we can take our time getting the car loaded with suitcases and have a chance for everyone to use the restroom one more time before driving away so we don't have to stop as soon as we get on the road

Our vehicle has been fine every time we've left it at CI/S. They tell you where to park to leave it and while we have left items in our car, we make sure they are out of sight. The hotel is situated so there isn't foot traffic and the only people who should be in the parking lot would be other guests, plus it sits pretty far off the main highway.

The hotel is very close to the port compared to others that offer park and cruise shuttles. It is a busy hotel as you might expect, but the staff is efficient in getting people checked in, checked out, etc. Check-out time is noon so you don't have to hang out in the lobby waiting all morning for your shuttle if you have a later shuttle time (they usually go til about 1:00 - 1:30).

On pick-up day, they are dropping people off then coming by to pick people up - the longest we've had to wait was 10 minutes and we spent that time chatting with new friends from the cruise who were waiting for their shuttle.
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