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Old 09-26-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
Scrappygrrl
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Critique my Universal/DCL itinerary

Hi all -
We are less than 6 weeks out from our planned Florida trip. As it stands right now, we will be at Universal from Sat Nov 3 to Tuesday Nov 6 and then driving to Marco Island Florida for a beach getaway from the 6th through Saturday the 10th. We've been sort of wishy-washy on the Marco Island stay (worried that it will be an older non family friendly crowd and that food costs will be through the nose), but we wanted to relax during the last half of our trip after running around Universal.
Today, I have checked DCL prices which have dropped a bit, and wondering if the following itinerary is do-able or too crazy making (budget is about 200 higher for the "new" itinerary but I fear I underestimated food costs in my Marco Island budget):
Sat Nov 3rd - Check in to Hard Rock - do some Universal that day and/or next morning (using early admission to see Harry Potterfor a few hours that am). Then drive to Port Canaveral for a 4 day on the Dream.
Thursday am - arrive back - hopefully disembark nice and early, head back to HRH - Universal rest of day as as well as Friday.
Fly home Saturday afternoon.

An alternative itinerary would be to head to Port canaveral on arrival and stay there Sat. night but that would only leave us a day and half at Universal - is that enough?


Looking for any and all opinions!
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Link to our 2011 WDW video trip report!!!
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February 27, 2014 - 3-night Disney Magic + 1 day at DHS - Celebrating 40
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
su_A_ve
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4 days at universal? I'd give it two and that's it...
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:03 PM   #3
kcashner
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So alternative A is no cruise....Universal + beach
Alternative B is Universal + cruise

Do I have that part right?
You are correct that they have VGT/IGT/OGT rates available for the 4 night cruise. They are great fares, and less than 1/2 of a comparable 7 night cruise.

My thinking is that you are spending way too much time running around. If you are doing a Sunday cruise and flying in on Saturday, don't waste a park ticket on your arrival day. Depending on the time or arrival and your desires, you could get a room either near the port or in the airport area (we can get an airport area room for under $50 on Priceline..and this includes breakfast). You can do one way car rentals before and after your cruise (no sense in paying to rent and park a vehicle that isn't yours!) Or you can get the Hyatt Place package that includes transportation to and from the cruise terminal on your date for $164 for up to 4 people--that's transportation from MCO to the hotel, breakfast, transportation to/from the cruise terminal. It showed $122 on your dates without the transportation. Sorry, I LIKE this hotel. For dinner, TGI Friday's is walking distance.

If you opt to rent a car, you could drive to Downtown Disney on Saturday night or choose dinner at a Disney resort....or save money and eat off property.

I'd just do the Universal after the cruise. You'll have almost 2 full days, and that should be quite sufficient.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
Scrappygrrl
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Thanks, Kcashner - you are right, Option A is Universal plus beach vacation ( woudl actually on be 2 days at Universal - Saturday would be a chill/pool day and Tuesday is travel day to Marco Island.

Option B1 would be Universal -> Cruise-> Universal and option B2 would be MCO or Port Canaveral hotel -> Cruise-> Universal.

Decisions, decisions...
__________________
Link to our Disney Dream 4 night cruise video - November 2012 http://youtu.be/zoUStVx3mq4

Link to our 2011 WDW video trip report!!!
http://youtu.be/dAW169ICAJE



Past Trips:
3/95 Dixie Landings, 9/99 POFQ, 11/09 CSR, 11/11 SVR (WDW), 11/12 DCL Dream/HRH, 11/13 DCL Magic,
February 27, 2014 - 3-night Disney Magic + 1 day at DHS - Celebrating 40
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:26 PM   #5
jlwhitney
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Personally you wont need more than 1.5 days at universal, especially since it wont be a busy a season.

We did pretty much both parks on a not so busy sunday, with Harry Potter. That even included driving 2.5 hours to get there.

I would do Cruise than universal, or do universal and then cruise and wind down after runing around for 2 days. But no need to go back and forth.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
Scrappygrrl
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Yes, I think you are are right - Option B1 is just too much running around. I like B2 better, and I think it is plenty of time at Universal. But need to convince husband, who still want to go to Marco. I just feel like this is an opportunity to do DCL while the kids are still young enough to enjoy it, and the price point matches our budget.
He is also partially balking because his passort is expired (whoops!) and he a) does not want to pay for the renewal to be expedited and b) would otherwise have to travel with his naturalization papers and DL and he doesn't feel comfortable with that.
Excuses, I say!!
__________________
Link to our Disney Dream 4 night cruise video - November 2012 http://youtu.be/zoUStVx3mq4

Link to our 2011 WDW video trip report!!!
http://youtu.be/dAW169ICAJE



Past Trips:
3/95 Dixie Landings, 9/99 POFQ, 11/09 CSR, 11/11 SVR (WDW), 11/12 DCL Dream/HRH, 11/13 DCL Magic,
February 27, 2014 - 3-night Disney Magic + 1 day at DHS - Celebrating 40
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:20 AM   #7
tajz90
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It's doable... Universal and The Dream. Love the Hard Rock. You can do the parks with the front of the line pass easily and quickly. Since you are staying on property, you will have a lot of relaxing options. We love the pool and the activities at Hard Rock. Eat a sundae at the icecream shop. The prices are reasonable considering you are at a theme park We also like City Walk and the food options there.

If you want to push, you can do all three 2 days at Uni, 2 days beach and then the dream
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:27 AM   #8
chrissydeon
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I am originally from Marco Island. I absolutely LOVE it there. With that being said... Choose DCL. Marco is beautiful and peaceful. Some of the best beaches in Florida, IMO. However, there is not anything comparable to the activities and/or entertainment that you will find on a Disney Cruise for the kids. Basically shopping and the beach. If your DH insists on going to Marco, Naples is a short drive from Marco (10 minutes) and there are a few more options as far as kids activities. I know that you were not asking for opinions on destination choices, I just wanted to throw it out there. As far as your option go.. I also agree that B2 is the best option.
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