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Old 05-16-2014, 09:35 AM   #1
Earning My Ears
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Rental Car drop off/Shuttle

First time cruising, and we are renting a car (thru Budget) and spending a few days in Cocoa Beach prior to our Cruise. I've read previously that it's more convenient to drop off my family at the Port first, then take the rental back, as it's easier to get 1 person with no luggage on the shuttle.

Is this still the preferred method? Our PAT is 11-11:15. How long should I expect the return/shuttle take? Should I drop them off around 11 and take the car back, or earlier?

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Old 05-16-2014, 09:50 AM   #2
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We are doing this as well. Listening in..
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:26 AM   #3
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Did this last July... I dropped off my family at the Port and then went to Budget... I walked rt on the shuttle cause I was by myself... Make sure you get in Line... The driver won't let anybody stand on the shuttle back to the Port.. Being alone makes it easier.I was in the back of the line and they had room for 1 more person so I jumped rt on.. Its about a 10 minute drive back to the Port... Very Easy
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:37 AM   #4
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Personally, I would drop everyone off at 10:30 and then return the car. They should have no trouble accessing the terminal at that time and it will give you a bit of a cushion.

While returning the car is often simple and quick, there can be delays. There will likely be a short wait for the shuttle to leave as you may have to wait for it to return/load to depart. The shuttle may stop at multiple cruise terminals (depending on the passengers) and, in my experience, Disney is never the first drop off. IMO, it's better to have that cushion than to run late.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:46 AM   #5
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My guess, all told would be 20-25 minutes from the time you drop them off until you arrive via a shuttle. That's been my experience the two previous times - back in 2007 and again in 2010.

I don't know how early you can drop them off from your PAT and they would be allowed into the terminal. There weren't PAT's on my previous trips. I have read that there's nothing wrong with showing up after your PAT. So, my suggestion would be to drop them off near your PAT, maybe 10 minutes early, and then return the car and get on the shuttle. The real factor to how long it takes you to get back will be how busy the rental counter is, and where in the cycle the shuttle is. If it has just left for a drop off, you might be sitting at the rental place for 15-20 minutes for it to return and load up for another trip.
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:09 PM   #6
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i've posted this a couple of times- i'm a 10 year Budget Fastpass member and will never use Budget in cocoa beach anymore- using Avis this time around......its more the incompetence of the Budget office in Cape Canaveral versus Budget themselves:

1) departure day, Aug 2012: get to Budget around 12 to drop off the car...the line is already around the back waiting for a shuttle to take people to the port....rain clouds gathering....finally decide "the hell with this, lets take a taxi" which are hovering around the Budget office like vulchers...thank gosh we did as five minutes later the clouds burst open....i take a bit of responsibility as i got there to drop my car off a little later than i wanted...

2) departure day, 2013 (the clincher)....get to the budget office before 10AM to drop off the car...we have family vacationing in Cocoa Beach who follow us to the Budget office and will drive us to the Fantasy once we drop the car off...already a long line (20-30 minutes) in the office for pick-ups and drop offs...i walk to the front and explain i pre-paid for the car and want to drop it off....they tell me "you still have to wait on this line!!"...i don't cause a scene but politely tell them to screw themselves as the car was pre-paid, the tank is full of gas and I have people waiting outside to take me to the ship...they start threatening me that if i leave i will have no recourse if they charge me for "extras".....i give the keys to the attendant outside and say "toodles"....

bottom line- yes your strategy is best but its hit and miss getting from the Budget to the ship via their shuttle...
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