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Old 10-18-2012, 10:52 AM   #1
xipetotec
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Car Rentals and Shuttles

So I'm reading bad things about National car Rental in relation to Port Canaveral. Not good as I had amazing prices through my work. But oh well.

If I rent a car from MCO to keep til the next day, which ones have the best drop off policy for the Port? Will they shuttle everyone ( with luggage ) over there? Or do I have to drop everyone off at the port FIRST, then go drop off the car?
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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We usually use Budget (we like that the cars are right on airport property rather than having to shuttle over to an off-site lot to get them) and we have used Hertz. Both (and I believe Avis) are very convenient to the port and do run shuttles between their location and the port. If you look online, you can find discount codes available to the general public that might bring their rates in line with what you had with National.

As far as will they transport you, your family and your luggage to the port, the answer is yes. The question might be do you want to do that. We usually drop the luggage off at the port (you pass right by it so it is a couple of minutes out of the way) and that way we only have to move the luggage from the car once -- the porters are right there to help you so you don't actually have to move the luggage very far, it at all. (It also saves some tip money for two sets of hands moving your luggage.) It also is a little easier to get on the shuttles at the busier times if you don't have luggage to put on. (Some people drop the rest of the family at the port and have one person return the car; we usually just drop the luggage and everyone goes to the rental car return to keep us all together.)
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:17 AM   #3
xipetotec
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We usually use Budget (we like that the cars are right on airport property rather than having to shuttle over to an off-site lot to get them) and we have used Hertz. Both (and I believe Avis) are very convenient to the port and do run shuttles between their location and the port. If you look online, you can find discount codes available to the general public that might bring their rates in line with what you had with National.

As far as will they transport you, your family and your luggage to the port, the answer is yes. The question might be do you want to do that. We usually drop the luggage off at the port (you pass right by it so it is a couple of minutes out of the way) and that way we only have to move the luggage from the car once -- the porters are right there to help you so you don't actually have to move the luggage very far, it at all. (It also saves some tip money for two sets of hands moving your luggage.) It also is a little easier to get on the shuttles at the busier times if you don't have luggage to put on. (Some people drop the rest of the family at the port and have one person return the car; we usually just drop the luggage and everyone goes to the rental car return to keep us all together.)
So I've only cruised once before and my mother ( who knew cruising ) took care of everything so I'm very gray on this. But you can just drop off your luggage? don't you need to hang onto it until you go through security at check-in? Or am i supposed to receive some sort of luggage tags from the cruise line?

If we're just dropping off, if I want to drop off the gang at the port, there's no fee to enter with the car right? I can do that, then go drop off the car?

( We'll need to all shuttle TO the car pick up after the cruise too, so I guess then might be a good time to bring everyone and the luggage )
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #4
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You will get luggage tags from DCL (usually 2-6 weeks before your sailing). You put them on any luggage that you don't want to have to carry onto the ship. This luggage can be left with the porters. It will then show up outside your stateroom door later that afternoon. The only luggage you have to take through security yourself is your carry-ons. (The other luggage is screened, you just don't have to handle that part of it -- that's why you tip the porters!)

When you arrive at the port, you will be directed to a spot to drop off. You do not have to go to the parking garage or anywhere that you would have to pay to stop. Have your cruise documents and ID ready. Sometimes they check to make sure you are legit. The porters meet you right there. And if the family is going to wait at the port, the entrance to the port is right there as well. Everyone over 18 needs photo id to get through that entrance so make sure the person taking the car back has photo id with them and doesn't just give it to one of the people staying at the port to take care of cruise check-in.

When going back to pick up the car, it's a little busier. If everyone is heading over with luggage, you may need to wait. A couple of options is to get the person who will be doing the paperwork on the first shuttle you can and either have the rest wait for them to come back and pick up or get on a later shuttle to meet at the rental car location
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by xipetotec View Post
So I'm reading bad things about National car Rental in relation to Port Canaveral. Not good as I had amazing prices through my work. But oh well.

If I rent a car from MCO to keep til the next day, which ones have the best drop off policy for the Port? Will they shuttle everyone ( with luggage ) over there? Or do I have to drop everyone off at the port FIRST, then go drop off the car?
All the car rental places are busy, especially when the ships come in. I rented from Budget before and we experienced a long wait after the cruise, both for the shuttle and at the rental desk. I'm sure the other agencies are in the same boat!

I would go with National, if you have a great deal.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:39 PM   #6
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All the car rental places are busy, especially when the ships come in. I rented from Budget before and we experienced a long wait after the cruise, both for the shuttle and at the rental desk. I'm sure the other agencies are in the same boat!

I would go with National, if you have a great deal.

But I heard they don't shuttle to the port. That's a big factor for us...
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:45 PM   #7
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Good deals are available from rentalcodes.com and mousesavers.com.

We usually use Budget because they are the second closest to the port (shortens shuttle runs), they usually run 2 shuttles on cruise days, and they are usually the cheapest. I've used Avis and Thrifty on other occasions when they were significantly less.

All of the companies will allow you to shuttle everyone + luggage OR to take the gang/luggage to the port and then have just the driver return the car. That is your choice. My only point is that there is almost always room on a shuttle for one person/no luggage while there may not be room for a family of 4 + luggage (which would mean the group would have to wait for the next shuttle.

As to waits--we almost never wait at the car place for a shuttle. Typically, they are waiting for me when I come out from returning the car. After the cruise at PC, yes, you stand in line and wait your turn. It isn't usually horrible, but it is typically a 10-20 minute wait. Lines to pick up the car at PC are variable. We had one horrible time where a guy with no reservation kept a clerk tied up while the rest of us waited...and waited....as there were only 2 clerks working.

Frankly, my experience with all companies has been about the same. Thrifty is about 4-5 miles farther away, so that adds another 10 minutes or so to the shuttle time. Hertz is closest, Budget a block farther away, and the others a few miles away.

Whether you take the car over to drop your bags or do it from the shuttle, you will place DCL luggage tags on the checked bags and turn them over to a porter along with a tip. You'll next see them outside your cabin. Same procedure whether shuttle or private car. You'll take only carry on bags into the terminal.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:58 PM   #8
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National had a bus at the port on Sunday morning. We used Budget but I was wishing we did National as they have a bus, not a tiny van. So we had to wait for 3 vans.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:07 PM   #9
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I have read that National, Alamo, and Enterprise are working together to serve the cruise traffic. Frankly, I'd call National and verify.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:11 PM   #10
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I have read that National, Alamo, and Enterprise are working together to serve the cruise traffic. Frankly, I'd call National and verify.
I can confirm this. I rented from National earlier this year and all 3 of those companies are operating out of the same building.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:30 PM   #11
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Alamo

Rob:

If they all working out of the same drop off point, how long did u wait to get shuttled back to the port!!!


Thanks

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Old 10-18-2012, 09:06 PM   #12
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most of the car rental companies in Port Canaveral have shuttles to/from port....most of them had to get shuttles as those that did not were losing business (National did not up until a few years ago- i learned the hard way).....we used Budget getting to Port Canaveral and Dollar from port canaveral to WDW after the cruise....

1) fees for dropping off cars at different locations vary by company....

2) depending on what day of the week you are leaving on the cruise it may be packed when you drop off the car and try and get a shuttle to the port....happened to us in August with Budget and it was a nightmare- until we took a cab from the rental car office to the ship for $20...

3) MAKE SURE if you are picking up a car after your cruise you give them a very good idea what time you will be there to pick up the car....they assign cars by the expected time of pick up and many of these car rental locations are smaller shops, relying on people coming in from MCO to drop off cars then go to the port (unlike MCO where they have a bunch of cars waiting)....if you put down you will be picking up a car at 12PM then get to the car rental location at 10:30 you could be waiting a while before you get your car...
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:16 PM   #13
kcashner
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True that some companies have a "drop off fee" while others do not. However, what matters to me is the total cost of the rental. I don't care if there is a $20 charge + $10 drop off fee or if the total charge is $30--it is the same regardless of how they split it up.

The big difference is if you have a % off coupon--that will apply only to the rental charge and you'll still pay the full drop off fee. Only Thrifty/Dollar has a drop off fee at Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach as far as I know.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:55 PM   #14
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True that some companies have a "drop off fee" while others do not. However, what matters to me is the total cost of the rental. I don't care if there is a $20 charge + $10 drop off fee or if the total charge is $30--it is the same regardless of how they split it up.

The big difference is if you have a % off coupon--that will apply only to the rental charge and you'll still pay the full drop off fee. Only Thrifty/Dollar has a drop off fee at Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach as far as I know.
Budget also has a fee....maybe it depends on the time of year but recently i've not found any car rental company that does not have a drop off fee....would love to know of one (though your point on total price is right on)...
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:02 PM   #15
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Budget also has a fee....maybe it depends on the time of year but recently i've not found any car rental company that does not have a drop off fee....would love to know of one (though your point on total price is right on)...
We have rented from Budget many times and I just made a reservation for Thanksgiving week. No one way/drop charges.
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