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Old 02-25-2011, 07:26 AM   #1
whamma
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Atlantis: DCL Shore Excursion vs. Comfort Suites? Help me decide.

Right now I have booked BOTH the DCL Atlantis Aquaventure excursion AND a room at Comfort Suites. Based on $$$ alone I know this should be a "no brainer" but for some reason I'm nervous about going it alone.

My room rate at Comfort Suites including tax is estimated at $276.70 (though I think from previous posts I've read that there will be a few more charges added to that total). Plus of course the cost of transportation there plus lunch.

The DCL shore excursion cost for my family will be $622 (3 people age 10+@ $169 and 1 child @ $115)--which includes transportation and lunch.

So--help me feel better about making a choice. I'd esp. like to hear from DISers who've done this!
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:37 AM   #2
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I am a mom who cruises without Daddy. In Nov 09, I took my then 7 and 9 year old daughters to CS. I did find someone on my cruise board to go over with as the taxi's intimidated me a bit. We met as soon as they allowed us to disembark... caught a taxi, 4 bucks a person plus a one dollar toll charge on the bridge going over. Arrived at CS, no line, checked in.. .and out at the same time. Short walk over to Atlantis, grabbed our towels and wristband... wooolaaa... saved myself several hundred bucks. We did have to take a taxi alone back, but it was not a big deal. We are doing it again this year and I am only a family of three... so not even saving as much as you did. Lunch.. the kids meals are huge(they gave dd like 8 chicken nuggets and a HUGE load of fries) we got some yummy nachos and a sandwhich and one more drink(kids meal came with a drink) around $20. I had so much food I was looking for people we came over with as I hated to throw it away. Fast forward, we are cruising April 2011... daddy is not coming.... and I am doing CS. Yes, it is easy, yes it saves money and it is about 10 minutes of inconvenience.... if you can even say that... as we left when we wanted to, no waiting... with DCL you have to meet downstairs and then wait till they leave.

did I convince you
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:55 AM   #3
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We did the CS in 2008 - family of 3...would do it again. Saved us a lot (probably $200). NOT that hard to do. WE found lunch was pricey ($33 for 3 extra long hot dogs and 3 large Gatorades) but we were still saving a lot so it was OK.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:37 AM   #4
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I just got a price of 175.00 for CS for next april.We have a family of 4 so it just costs to much to go through disney.They also said if we tell them when we check in that we will not be staying they may give us a discount if they need the rooms...and since it is april they may....
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:06 AM   #5
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We did the Comfort Suites last May. It couldn't have been easier, and saved us quite a bit of $$$$. Walked off the ship as soon as it docked and caught a cab(van-there were 8 of us!!). Told the cab driver we were going to the Comfort Suites and he laughed and said, "Oh, you one of the smart ones!!!" I asked him if many people do this deal and he said he has someone almost every day!! He let us out at the front door of the Comfort Suites and we went to the front desk. Told them that we wanted to check in and check out at the same time-that we were just doing it for the Atlantis wrist bands. The gentlemen at the desk smiled and said, "Oh, you're one of the smart ones!!!" They didn't charge us any of the extra fees either-maybe since we didn't even set foot in the room???

We asked our cab driver what time we should plan on heading back to the ship-at 4:00 there was a shift change at Atlantis and it could be a little congested so he helped us plan around that! It was a little earlier than I would have left but it took every minute to get back to the ship-he was exactly right!! We walked right out the front door and there were a ton of cabs waiting, so no problem getting back to the ship.

We found a quick service meal counter at Atlantis-it wasn't right by the main pool/water slide area but a little further away. For $8.00ish bucks each we got meals AND a drink that we could refill at their fountain. This was a great deal-much cheaper than anything else we say foodwise at Atlantis!

We saved a ton of money doing Atlantis this way, and it truly was very easy!!! Good luck, and have a great time!!!!
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:04 PM   #6
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What happens if Nassau Day is rescheduled due to weather? I assume you're out of luck if you booked with CS because you would be beyond the cancellation window.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete W. View Post
What happens if Nassau Day is rescheduled due to weather? I assume you're out of luck if you booked with CS because you would be beyond the cancellation window.
Ah, good question...
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:18 PM   #8
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When you booked through Comfort Suites, did you do the dolphin encounter package + water park? My 2 oldest children really want to experience the dolphins and the water park. The cost is $$$$$ considerable. My husband and my youngest child don't want to get in the water with the dolphins.

Also, did you have to call to book CS for April 2012. I checked their website and it only went to 2/2012.

Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:31 PM   #9
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If you call the 800 number you can book past that,i just booked 2 rooms for 175.00 each for april 2012.Also if you work for L.E. or the state you can use their gov. discount.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:25 PM   #10
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Pete is correct.

If you book through Comfort Suites and then there's an issue due to weather, you are out of luck. I was also concerned about this when I booked my CS room in May 2010. I could cancel my room with no penalties up until 2 or 3 days before we got to Nassau. I checked weather.com before we went for the weather forecast-if the weather had looked iffy I was going to cancel and just pass on Atlantis. However, the weather forecast was for gorgeous weather, and that turned out to be exactly right.

It depends on how you feel about this. I know weather forecasts aren't always right, but if there had been a pretty good chance of rain, high winds, hurricanes on the horizon, I would have rethought it. However, the weather was forecasted to be perfect for us, and it was!!! You may want to look at it all closer to the time you cruise and make your decision which way to go. You've got your room rate locked in-just don't forget to cancel it if you change your mind!!
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:42 PM   #11
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This is GREAT information. We were thinking of doing the Disney Atlantis excursion, but it is so very, very expensive (and we are already paying more than we wanted for our cruise because by the time we booked, the less expensive cabins were taken).

Can anyone give more information about what we should know to pull this off? Does it take a long time to get from the Comfort Suites to Atlantis? Do the wristbands you get cover all the water park activities- is anything left out? Is there any advantage to not checking out at the same time you check in (I assume the reason to do both at once is to save time).

Thanks so much for all the tips. This will really make the trip do-able for us.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:00 PM   #12
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I just checked the website and got a price about the same as the OP once the charges are factored in (about $275). Anyone have any thoughts on how to get a cheaper/discounted room? Maybe our time of year doesn't lend itself to cheaper prices. In any case, it is a lot cheaper than paying for 4 people to do the Disney excursion, so I am still very excited about this!
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glassslipper2004 View Post
I just checked the website and got a price about the same as the OP once the charges are factored in (about $275). Anyone have any thoughts on how to get a cheaper/discounted room? Maybe our time of year doesn't lend itself to cheaper prices. In any case, it is a lot cheaper than paying for 4 people to do the Disney excursion, so I am still very excited about this!
you can get a little cheaper rate with AAA discount.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:10 PM   #14
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We booked the CS for 4 of us for $189.00. Used a discount code from Sams club. I would absolutely do it again. Even with paying for lunch and taxi rides it was still such a hugh money saver. Very easy check in and we checked out the same time. Atlantis is right next door, so it was only a short walk over. If your Nassau day is cancelled due to weather, you are out of luck. We felt it was worth the risk and it all worked out for us. Have fun, wish I was going again soon.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:31 PM   #15
Zaku
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Question

We are a family of five (children 15, 11 and 7), do we need to book 2 rooms, is there a way to get/buy extra wristband from CS?
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