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Old 03-23-2011, 06:03 PM   #1
Disneydrmr
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DCLTransfers ... How do they work?

I am new to cruising and want to understand how the series of events will work for our upcoming Disney Cruise. We are staying at Pop Century prior to our Cruise. We have already purchased the DCL transfers (there are 10 of us). I have not checked in yet for my cruise because it is not 75 days prior but know that I will be assigned an arrival time. Will my transfer from the WDW hotel resort to the port take this arrival time into consideration? Do we check our luggage in at the hotel and then it will appear in our cabin on the cruise? Just not sure how it all works and was hoping that someone who has experienced this will give me some insight.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:24 PM   #2
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OH MY! The first thing you do is to CANCEL THE TRANSFERS. DCL transfers cost $35 per person--total $350 each way! Magical Express from MCO to the resort is free, transfers are not.

You can get a private limo service for about half of this amount. There are lots of good private companies.

How transfers work....on the last full day, you will get written instructions in your hotel rooms. You generally call bell services when your bags are packed and ready, but you are told to have them ready by 8 am. Bell services comes to the room, collects your bags, and takes them to a truck which takes them to the port. You see them outside your cabin on the ship. You keep your carry on with you.

You will be given a time--you show up at the meeting point in the lobby where a CM checks off your name. You then hang out for about an hour and wait for the bus. Each bus goes to 3 resorts normally...pick up time will be between 11:30 and 12:30. You will then be driven to the port while a DCL video is shown on the bus. Get off bus, go thru security, check in for cruise, get on ship.....you won't get to the terminal till at least 1:30.

Advantage--easy. Disadvantage--they control the time and it costs a small fortune.

Private limo service--easy, but you will need to get your luggage to the front of the hotel to meet the limo. Of course, the bellman will help with this if you ask. MUCH cheaper than transfers. Runs on YOUR time schedule. No stops for people at other resorts. OH, no DCL video, but many do have DVDs for kids! And most will supply car seats upon request.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:24 PM   #3
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I have to agree with kcashner - I'd never use DCL transfers for more than 2 or 3 people, because the cost is just ridiculous. You can literally arrive in a limo for half as much!! We also prefer to get to the port earlier than 1:30 (the time we took DCL transfers we didn't get to the port until 2:30), and the amount of waiting we did was insane. Waiting an hour in the lobby of the AKL after checking in for the transfers. Waiting an hour on the bus while we went to two other resorts to pick up more people. Then the hour ride out to the port. It was awful.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:31 PM   #4
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Do you suggest the limo service for only 2 people?
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:55 PM   #5
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Now this is something that Kcashner does have a strong opinion on and something that her and I disagree about always. Nothing wrong with her opinion, just different than mine over the years. We share a career and share a love for DCL, but one thing we are always different about is DCL transportation.... We (grant it we are only 4 people), but we DCL transfers. I like the hassel free transportation they offer. We do not have to use a limo service and have him to worry about our luggage. Pushing 10 people in a limo is tight too. We do not have to worry about meeting anyone at a certain time and do not have to tip a driver. If you used a limo service from the resort, you would have to deal with luggage. If you took ME back to the airport and then to a limo, you have to bother with luggage and tipping. I like the pack the luggage, put it outside and see it when you need it. I am willing to pay for that. Actually on the way back, we choose participating airlines and DCL transportation, so we check in on-board and do not see our luggage until we get to Minnesota. That is worth EVERY dime to me.
The way you have it set up now, you will pack your bags Saturday morning and place it inside of your door at Pop. You will tag your luggage with your DCL tags that will arrive through the mail. Then go and get some breakfast and head to the DCL bus at your assigned pick up time (I am unsure of the times from Pop; every resort is different). You then hop on the bus foot loose and hands free. Your luggage will then Magically appear in front of your door on the ship. Do not worry about that Port check in time... They are not really following it anyway. It is just a way of them getting an idea of the amount of people during certain times. If you are taking DCL transportation, you will get there in plenty of time (just get the 1st bus), they know you are coming and they will NEVER leave without a DCL bus arriving. So personally, I like to pay for convience; it is VACATION!
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:03 PM   #6
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Thanks for everyone's insight. I didn't mean to start a debate as to whether or not we should pay for the DCL transfers...it is already a done deal for a long list of reasons....I just wanted to understand how it works. I'm hoping that we can take whatever the first bus to the port will be, to take full advantage of our excitement to getting on the cruise. Thanks to everyone for explaining how it will work.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:31 PM   #7
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The buses start picking up at the resorts at 11:30, and it's just that one round of buses (no early bus available unless you leave from MCO). Each bus will have 3-4 resorts to pick up from, and they get on the road to the port between 12:30 and 1:00. The earliest you can expect to get to the port is 1:30.

You'll need to have your bags outside your door at 8 a.m., and they will indeed magically disappear and then reappear in your stateroom. That was the one thing I did love about DCL transfers
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atinkerbellmom View Post
We do not have to worry about meeting anyone at a certain time and do not have to tip a driver.
Technically speaking, tipping is allowed for the DCL drivers as they handle any strollers, carry on luggage, anything that needs to go under the bus, etc. A lot of people just don't do it.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mousejunkie98 View Post
Technically speaking, tipping is allowed for the DCL drivers as they handle any strollers, carry on luggage, anything that needs to go under the bus, etc. A lot of people just don't do it.
Yes I know that. Actually on ME there is a sign that says it is ok to tip for exceptional service. I have seen DCL drivers and boarding personal tell guest "No, that is not necessary. This is our job". You know the DCL staff in the beige skirts/pants and blue blazzers. I have never seen them take a tip. As to my statement. We hop on the bus without anything but my carry-on with medication and my DH with his CPap. So no need to tip as we have nothing they are handling for us. I take that back, once a guy gave me a hand as I almost missed a step when talking stepping off the bus.... That would have been an embarkment picture to remember; Black-eyed Mommy. Other than that, we have noting as they take our luggage prior to us boarding.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atinkerbellmom View Post
Pushing 10 people in a limo is tight too.

If you took ME back to the airport and then to a limo, you have to bother with luggage and tipping.

As tinkerbellmom said, to each his own. I do want to comment on the two statements that I've edited from her piece.

Limos come in many sizes. Most limo companies list the number of people and luggage that their various vehicles will comfortably hold. Some advertise a limo that holds 18! It's a matter of choosing the right vehicle for your group.

I don't understand why someone would take ME back to the airport and then transfer to a limo there. That strikes me as a huge hassle.

DCL transfers can't be beat for convenience. I have used them from WDW and from MCO as normally there are just 2 of us. I totally agree that the onboard check in service on participating airlines is WELL worth the expense. My only issue has been the transfer from WDW to the port. It gets us there later than I'd like when it runs on time. I've also had it run much later than expected (we were picked up late; the excuse given was trouble with another bus.)

Since it has been reported that they have FINALLY worked out the luggage issue so that if you are going to a resort after WDW, you get the same "magical" luggage service that you get with a participating airline, that's another HUGE plus. When I had to collect my luggage and take it thru Customs then to a bus, it was just as easy to take it to private transportation and not have to sit waiting for that bus to depart...or go to multiple resorts.


You'll be fine with the transfers--hope we got you the info you needed about how it works. One other hint; you have plenty of time that last morning to do a character breakfast or whatever from the time they take your luggage (8 ish) till you need to be at the bus meeting spot (11 ish).

Limo service for 2 people is costly. The DCL transfer is cheaper. From MCO it is totally convenient and easy. From WDW, if you are happy with the DCL transfer service, go for it. From WDW, I usually rent a car--I get it the afternoon before so I can use it for dinner (usually at a resort other than where we are staying), a store stop if needed, and a port arrival on our schedule. Yes, it is more effort than the transfers.

Last edited by kcashner; 03-23-2011 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atheneze View Post
Do you suggest the limo service for only 2 people?
For just 2 I'd recommend the DCL transfers. Dh and I just cruised this past weekend, 1st DCL cruise w/o kids. We rented a car to get to the port and it was more hassle than it was worth. It was only $51 so at 1st seemed like a great deal. Then tolls, then $8 to fill tank before dropping off, which I almost forgot to do. Then waited in a long, slow-moving line at Budget at the port. No automated returns like at MCO. So our $51 rental was more like $62 and the DCL bus would have been $70. Definitely not worth the $8 savings. All this so we could stop for a 6pk of bottled water which dh got tired of carrying around the ship after lunch.

Seems the older I get and more I travel, the more I really don't enjoy lugging our luggage. So for next Sept with the kids, I booked the DCL bus both ways, staying at the Hyatt the night before, so we can leave our luggage in the hotel room and then booked our flight home on a participating airline so we can use Onboard Check in. I love the convenience. Once you try it, it's hard to go back.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:32 PM   #12
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Last week, my husband and I stayed at POP and then used DCL Transfers to the Port.

Because we had 37 people at POP using the transfers, the bus ONLY stopped at POP Century for us, granted they did meet us at 12:45/1:45/something like that. We just waited after checkout at 11 in the lobby and met outside the gift shop and loaded the bus.

One big plus about arriving later, in my opinion, was that there was basically no lines at all for checking in once we got to the Port. We filled out our medical health form, got in line, checked in, scanned our cards and were on the ship. The CM told us that before us, there was a 3 hour waiting line. She said we were lucky arriving when we did.

My husband and I enjoyed the no-worry, hassle-free convenience of the DCL transfers.

Have a magical time!
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:07 AM   #13
Disneydrmr
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Thanks for all the great information. We are looking forward to our "dream vacation" of going on a Disney Cruise!
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